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Pupils take SEA test in shaky school
Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) pupils of the Union Presbyterian School in Claxton Bay will write today’s examination in a dilapidated section of the school. During a prayer service for the pupils yesterday, the school’s principal, Venoo Ramdhanie, prayed that there will be no natural disasters like earthquakes, explaining “if an earthquake occurs, the school will surely come tumbling down.”
The central pillars of the school are cracked badly and the steel is protruding. Ramdhanie said even though the school has ventilation, it was not comfortable for the 43 pupils who will sit the examination today. “We pray that the exam will go well and there will be no earthquakes or any such type of disaster,” Ramdhanie said.
Despite the deplorable conditions, Ramdhanie said it was better for the pupils to write the examinations in “familiar conditions.” However, Ramdhanie said the Government was working assiduously to fix the problems and had already refurbished the washrooms in time for SEA.
“We want to thank the Education Facilities Company Limited for fixing the washrooms but we believe this could have been done a long time,” Ramdhanie added. He noted that teams from the EFCL have made “countless” visits to the school and were familiar with the problems.
Meanwhile, in an interview yesterday, Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh promised to assist. Saying that parents and teachers must be patient, Gopeesingh said: “The ministry has 900 schools, 476 primary, 156 secondary and 268 pre-schools. We inherited a system that was allowed to decay over the past nine or ten years. We cannot do everything one time. It is incremental development and it is a restructuring process.”
However, the minister said schools which were between 55 to 100 years old, will be dealt with on an emergency basis.
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