PARENTS of pupils attending San Fernando Boys' Roman Catholic School protested at Harris Promenade yesterday, demanding that money be found to fix an electrical problem so that the school could open.
There has been no classes since the start of the new term last week Monday because the school needs to be rewired. Parents have been told it will take two months to fix the problem and, in the interim, a temporary building was being sought.
Yesterday, police had to direct traffic outside the school as parents and pupils marched in the rain in protest. Teaching staff representative Neville Jagroop said teachers agreed with parents that the electrical problems needed to be remedied.
He said: "Teachers decided to withhold our labour because of health and safety reasons. The school has been operating with a serious electrical problem for the past two years. A scope of work has already been done, that indicates that the school needs to be rewired. T&TEC is supposed to come for their meter today."
Jagoop said the school was last rewired eight years ago after the installation of computer equipment.
Parent Teachers Association (PTA) public relations officer Tennile Leach said parents intend to step up the protest until the Ministry resolved the problem.
She said: "We have no clue what is taking place, another six to eight weeks without school? Our children are at a stand still. They are being set back with their education."
Parent Nigel Francois said it was disgraceful for a school in the middle of the city to experience such a problem. He said it was not about hand outs, but "a respectable and safe building for the children until they fix the problem".
"We don't want no five per cent, no ten per cent pay raise. We don't want no ipad either. What we want is electricity for the school. All we asking for is a place for our boys to go to school while they fix this problem...San Fernando Boys RC, one of the top schools in San Fernando," said Francois.
Yolanda Morales-Carvalho, media relations coordinator in the Ministry, said on Saturday last, officials of the Education Facilities Company Limited visited the school, seeking to expedite the work.
"We have to meet with the parents of the standard four and fives for suitable relocation to facilitate necessary repairs, while not disrupting classes. The Ministry will contact parents and teachers sometime today (yesterday) so work can begin faster," said Morales-Carvalho.