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Princes Town school will be built

Published: 
Friday, June 22, 2018
Presbyterian School Board tells protesting parents:
Parents of children attending the Princes Town Presbyterian No 1 and 2 Primary Schools protest outside Naparima College on Wednesday. PICTURE RISHI RAGOONATH

The Presbyterian Primary Schools’ Board of Education (PPSBE) says Princes Town No1 Presbyterian School will be built on the site of the demolished school at Edward Street, Princes Town.

This follows complaints by parents that they heard the land at Edward Street was being sold because the land is valuable and the site is no longer fit for a school.

Pupils attending Princes Town No 1 were relocated to Princes Town No 2 Presbyterian School at Kenneth Street three years ago because their school building was deemed unfit for occupancy.

Last year, the school building at Edward Street was demolished with a promise to rebuild the school.

In a press release yesterday, the school board said it, “fully supports the efforts of the parents to have the Princes Town No 1 Presbyterian School rebuilt and understands their frustration and concerns.

However, the PPSBE does not endorse students being part of the protests or that keeping students away from school will aid the cause of having the school rebuilt. Teaching time must be maximised in the present circumstances while parents exercise their rights to protest to demonstrate their concerns.

“Further, the Presbyterian Primary Schools’ Board of Education categorically denies statements that the lands on which the school is to be rebuilt is no longer available and earmarked for a business venture or to be sold. These statements have no basis in fact as neither the PPSBE or The Presbyterian Church of Trinidad and Tobago (PCTT) has made such a decision.

“The school is to be rebuilt on its former site and the PPSBE awaits a decision from the Ministry of Education on this project. The PPSBE continues to work with all stakeholders including the Ministry of Education to end the Shift System and provide a positive holistic learning environment for students and teachers.”

Parents from both schools held on joint protest on Wednesday and threatened to take drastic action next week and keep their children away from school in the new school term if the ministry fails to respond to their concerns.

The PPSBE also called on the ministry to recommence direct funding to their schools which has not been provided since March 2017.

Stating that the money was necessary to buy stationery, cleaning materials, toilet paper etc, the PPSBE said, “This sad state of affairs cannot continue and the Ministry of Education must discharge its responsibilities in this area. Too much teaching time is being lost in fund raising ventures to meet the shortfall from the Ministry of Education.”

They also called on the ministry to enter into discussions with the Board on its plans for completing the Siparia Union, Curepe, Woodbrook and Piparo Presbyterian Schools on which construction work stopped almost three years ago.

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