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Stench forces closure of Vistabella primary school
The overpowering stench of a rotting rat yesterday forced the temporary closure of the Vistabella Presbyterian Primary School. Pupils were sent home before lunch after complaints of an unbearable smell coming from the ceiling of one of the Standard One classrooms. Yesterday Education Ministry media relations co-ordinator Yolanda Morales-Carvalho said the school would be closed until next Tuesday so it could be sanitised.
She said the San Fernando City Corporation’s Public Health Department began cleanup work and fumigation at the Cane Street, San Fernando school yesterday. Yesterday classes were dismissed around 12.30 pm and pupils were told to remain at home today. The foul smell permeated the classrooms and was also noticeable from across the street. Parent Teacher Association president Angelique Achong-Girdharry expressed displeasure over the situation. She said it has been an ongoing problem.
“The school has been infested with rats for over a period of time and we have been complaining about it to the principal. She says she has it under control, but every time we keep getting more and more notice that there are rats in the school,” she said. Achong-Girdharry said parents have been telling her children are complaining of feeling unwell at the school and she believes that the building should be properly sanitised. She said parents do not want to shut down the school but admitted that many, including herself, may keep their children away today.
“We want the school to be sanitised properly. The school should really be closed down and fumigated to get rid of all the rats because this is an ongoing problem that we have. It is years this has been happening and they complain that it is the sewer system that is causing it, that is why we cannot get away from the rats. “There are sewer systems all over Trinidad. How is it everybody is not infested with rats as this school is? There were dead rats on the steps, rat droppings in the classrooms,” she lamented.
A PTA meeting is carded for next week Wednesday. But in light of the present situation, she said, “I do not know if we could wait until next week Wednesday. This is something of urgency.”
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