THE Education Ministry is being asked to intervene in the case of three Mayaro primary schools beset by infrastructure problems, with parents of pupils threatening to take protest action.
Local government councillor for Mayaro/Guayaguayare Kyron James told the Express since taking office last October, he has been bombarded with phone calls from frustrated parents of Mayaro Government Primary School, Ortoire Roman Catholic Primary School and Mafeking Government Primary School.
James said parents were afraid the walls of Ortoire RC Primary would collapse on their children because the building was very old. Mayaro Government Primary was in need of a fence repair and the roof was also leaking, he said.
At both Mayaro Government and Mafeking Government, James said, there was a sewer problem.
Mafeking Government was closed for two weeks because of that problem and it was temporarily fixed, the councillor said.
Mafeking Government complained of an electrical problem with inadequate lighting in classrooms, he said.
Overcrowding was another problem at Mafeking Government, he said.
The school was built to accommodate 250 pupils, but has a pupil population of 321.
James told the Express: “Part of the problem is a lack of communication. Nobody is letting us know how far along these repairs are actually taking. The requests would have went out.
“It is not that requests came out last week and nobody let them know what is happening. They (Ministry of Education) are aware of the problem but they are taking a very long time, and I am a little concerned that the children in these affected schools are going to be negatively affected.”
A ministry official said yesterday the Ministry of Education was “examining constructing a prefabricated building on the school compound to house additional students” for Mafeking Government Primary.
The official said: “The Ministry of Education is liaising with the administrations of the three schools to resolve these aforementioned issues and has initiated investigations into these said problems.”
James, a People’s National Movement (PNM) member, said the PNM will be making a recommendation to have the responsibility of school repairs placed under the regional corporations instead of the Ministry of Education.
“If that happens, we would not have to go outside to get the repairs done. Repairs could get done more quickly and efficiently,” he said.