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Pleasantville Sec to reopen today

...gives Education Ministry 30 days to fix problems

By \\\\\ Nikita Braxton-Benjamin nikita.braxton@trinidadexpress.com

DESPITE problems at the Pleasantville Secondary School, it is expected to reopen for the new school term today and remain open for at least 30 days.

President of the school’s Parent Teachers Association (PTA) Clarence Mendoza yesterday said there were issues at the school but parents and teachers were willing to have the school open for the next month.

“For the first 30 days we will wait and see what the Ministry of Education and the EFCL (Education Facilities Company Ltd) will be doing at the school. After 30 days we will revisit,” he said yesterday.

Mendoza spoke of a mosquito and rat infestation at the school and also of leaking and hanging ceilings and flooding issues.

He also said the building housing the Technical Vocational Department needed to be repaired.

Mendoza who is also the National Parent Teachers’ Association coordinator said he had spoken to the Minister of Education Tim Gopeesingh concerning the school and was told that the EFCL had sent tenders to different organisations since last June.

He said officials were yet to return.

“We are not going to give an ultimatum but the Ministry of Education has to step up...We want the pupils and staff to be comfortable,” Mendoza yesterday said.

He said at a meeting last month, the Ministry of Education said it will cost $90 million to complete remedial work at the school.

“Give us a block at a time, if you can’t give all at one time. Even if they start and we see something happening, it will give the teachers the drive to work,” Mendoza said.

He said an official was expected to visit the school over the August vacation to address the rat and mosquito issues, but this was not done.

Mendoza said while there have been calls for the school to remain closed today, the PTA was not willing to have the pupils miss time in school.

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