Send the children back to classes
By DARCEL CHOY Friday, October 5 2012
OFFICIALS from the Education Facilities Company Limited (EFCL) have assured parents of students attending La Horquetta South Government Primary that their children will be able to return to school next Monday.
Students were asked to stay away from classes this week after teachers refused to report to work because of a pigeon infestation. After parents highlighted the issue in the media on Wednesday, officials from the EFCE visited the school along with the School Supervisor I where they toured the school to make assessments.
When the tour was complete, the parents were told work will begin immediately and will continue through the weekend to ensure the school was ready for students on Monday. However, parents were not satisfied and expressed doubt that the workmen will be able to complete the work in a few days.
One parent, Lisa George, said it made no sense for parents to bring their children to school on Monday because she was sure the school was not going to be ready.
“They are are saying work will start today and we are to bring our children back to school no Monday. However the work is not going to be done by Monday so why are we sending our children back in the same situation. That makes no sense,” she said.
Another parent, Hillel Bedlow said once the immediate issue with the pigeons was dealt with all the other work that needed to be done can happen after.
“Once we get the pigeon issue under control then classes can resume. However if the issue is not fixed the teachers may take further industrial action. We want this issue fixed as soon as possible. If we come to school on Monday and the classrooms aren’t ready, the march will be to the Ministry of Education building in Port-of-Spain,” she said.
President of the school’s Parent/Teachers Association Gillian Husbands said they were promised the work will include removing parts of the roof that were compromised because of the pigeons. The school will also be sanitised and power washed.
Meanwhile, parents also pointed out that the nearby Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) which was officially opened by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar May last year is yet to open.
They said children were suffering because parents had to go outside the area to place them in other schools.