Last update: 09-Dec-2013 11:04 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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TTUTA takes Education Ministry to task as ten schools remain closed
Ten schools have remained closed since the start of the term and the T&T Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) says it is appalled by the approach taken by the Education Ministry to repair schools. TTUTA’s general secretary Peter Wilson said yesterday the affected schools were South East Port-of-Spain Secondary, Pleasantville Secondary, Marabella South Secondary, St Augustine Secondary, Longdenville Presbyterian, Woodbrook Presbyterian, Dinsley/Trincity Government Primary, Rio Claro Hindu, Marac Baptist Primary and Malabar Government Primary. “More recently hazardous conditions at Malick Secondary, Mt Hope Secondary and Tabaquite Presbyterian have also led to teachers having to remove themselves from these schools,” Wilson said.
He said at South East Port-of-Spain Secondary the building itself was more than 60 years and the roof, walls, ceiling and toilets were deteriorated and barely functional. Repairs began some three weeks ago with “ongoing promises that it will be completed at the end of each succeeding week,” Wilson said. “Meanwhile, students are out of school and suffering through the loss of teaching time. To add insult to injury, the Education Ministry has neglected to officially inform parents, teachers and the school’s administration on the status of the repair work or any possible alternative arrangements for students.” Students were also faced with an additional problem of security as getting to school was “hazardous,” he said.
Because of the location, there were “daily reports of gun battles” in the immediate vicinity of the school. “TTUTA demands that the Education Ministry have the repair work at South East Port-of-Spain Secondary complete quickly, deal urgently with security concerns and give proper direction to the entire school community on the current status of the school,” Wilson said.
“TTUTA exhorts the Education Ministry to stop hiding in a cocoon and fulfill its responsibility to provide safe and healthy learning conditions for all schools.”
Calls to the cellphone of Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh went unanswered yesterday.
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