PUPILS at North Manzanilla Government Primary School have not been attending classes for the school term.
The school is one of seven schools not yet fully functioning since classes began on January 6, according to the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA).
Lynsley Doodhai, TTUTA’s second vice-president, said the school building in Manzanilla was deemed unsafe, as it was dilapidated.
He said the Ministry of Education was attempting to seek accommodation at another school. How soon that relocation will take place, he could not say.
Other schools with problems included Princes Town West Secondary, Santa Rita RC Primary in Rio Claro, VOS Government Primary in Gasparillo, Princes Town East Secondary, Erin Road Presbyterian Primary, and Exchange RC Primary in Couva, Doodhai said.
The problems at the schools vary from infrastructural to sewer, issues with air-conditioning, as well as bat and rat infestations and electrical matters.
Hundreds of pupils, and teachers, were negatively affected, Doodhai said.
“TTUTA is extremely concerned at the number of schools that have had to be closed since the new term started. We are even more concerned about the conditions under which many of our members are expected to work in. TTUTA will not, under any circumstances, allow our members to work in sub-standard conditions. TTUTA is calling on the MoE (Ministry of Education) to immediately address the concerns in these schools so that teaching and learning is not further compromised,” he said.
Doodhai again asked the Ministry to conduct air quality assessment tests and tests for mould and microbes at Princes Town East Secondary.
Attempts to get a response from the Education Ministry yesterday were futile.