Saturday, February 24, 2018

Parents make way for Princes Town school to re-open

Parents have agreed to cease protest action and give way for the construction of the Princes Town West Secondary School, which is now expected to re-open in September.

And in the meantime, teachers will conduct online classes and occasionally meet pupils at the library.

Fifth and Sixth Form pupils will attend classes in a cordoned-off area on the school compound.

Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) president Carol Lutchman said parents agreed to put down the placards for now.

“We understand there will be a lot of heavy equipment at the school and this would endanger the children’s safety. The children’s safety is our priority and we are getting the school built, so we can’t complain,” she said.

Lutchman said pupils in Forms One to Four would remain at home until the construction is completed. “They said the school would be completed in time for the new term in September. In the meantime they will do online classes and pupils without computers will go to the library. The teachers are also supplying them with past papers and other work,” she said.

The parents staged several protests outside the school calling for the Education Ministry to provide alternative accommodation.

Teachers have also complained that the situation at the school posed health and safety hazards.

The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) listed 14 problems at the school including a deplorable road entrance, hot classrooms, no proper toilet facilities, leaking ceilings, cracks on walls, exposed electrical wires and leaking sewer.

A letter written to the Ministry of Education by TTUTA stated: “The teachers have been trying their best to cope with the dangerous situation for quite a long time and have reached the stage where they are no longer willing to risk their health and safety and that of the pupils. As a consequence, the teachers will not be returning to work on that compound until the issues listed in the attachment are properly addressed. In the interim, where possible, the teachers are arranging to work with the pupils through the various technological media.

The Education Ministry confirmed yesterday that construction is expected to be completed by September.