Teachers abandon post
By Darcel Choy Tuesday, September 4 2012
THE first day of the new school term was cut short for students of the Febeau Government Primary after teachers walked off the job because of a faulty air conditioning unit. The teachers left the school which is temporarily located at St George East District Office building in Tunapuna, at about 1 pm, because classrooms on the third floor were becoming uncomfortable.
Public Relations Officer of the school’s Parent Teachers Association (PTA) Eric Joseph said the problem first occurred before school was closed for the July/August vacation and fans were placed in the classrooms as a temporary measure.
“We contacted the Education Facilities Company Limited and they said they have to send out tenders for someone to repair it. That does not make sense. Today is the first day of the new term and they should have fixed this before...during the holidays so school could have reopened as normal,” he said.
Joseph said the area supervisor suggested that students who occupy the third floor be moved to the first floor. “That too does not make sense because when you move them downstairs the students who already occupy that floor will have to go home because the classrooms will be too crammed. Something has to be done soon, classes can’t continue like this,” he said.
Problems at the primary school have been on-going for years. The school was moved from its Saddle Road, San Juan location in March after parents held a fiery protest to show their anger with the lack of information and frequent problems affecting the school which has more than 200 pupils and 20 teachers. The problems experienced included lack of an administration wing, unstable perimeter concrete walls, termite-infested windows and door frames and a malfunctioning sewer system.
Education Minister Tim Gopeesingh promised parents and teachers that work would have been initiated to repair the school but nothing was done, Joseph claimed. He said parents are getting tired of these promises and disclosed they are removing their students from the school.
“Five students were transferred from this school to other schools today, their parents just could not take the up and down and stress of not knowing whether things will change. We expect more transfers because the parents too are at their wits end,” he said.
In an interview yesterday, Minister Gopeesingh said tenders have been completed and a contract will go out shortly. He added that work will be completed in four months.