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Most schools re-opened, but a few still closed

By Rachael Espinet Tuesday, September 17 2013

With two weeks into the new school year, most schools have reopened. Yesterday, the students of Tunapuna Boys’ RC Primary School had their first day of school after the vacation. However, there was a low student turn out.

The school had been closed for the past two weeks due to problems with the electric wiring, the ceiling, and the bathrooms.

Lindsay Doodhai, president of the National Primary School Principals Association said the low voltage problems were rectified by the Trinidad and Tobago Electrical Commission (TTEC), and work was done to the ceiling and roof. However, he said nothing was done to repair the toilets, urinals and septic tank. But he assures that work will continue on afternoons, and on weekends.

“The principal and staff are happy that the school has re-opened. There was not a full attendance, but they are just happy to start back teaching,” Doodhai said.

While Tunapuna RC opened, Dinsley Government Primary School remains closed for repairs. Doodhai said every time a bulb is changed in the school, the bulb blows.

“It does not look like that school will open soon. The children are home. If they stay home any longer, then we will have to find a place to house the children elsewhere,” he said.

Rio Claro Hindu Primary school also remains closed for repairs. The school has had a bat infestation, and needs to have its ceiling and roof replaced.

“I was told by the principal that before the end of the week the school would be ready. The roof had to be changed, there was a bat infestation, and it was leaking. The children would have lost three weeks, but the teachers should be able to catch up,” he said.

Diego Martin Girls’ RC Primary School has had a rocky start, because of teachers refusing to start classes until conditions were improved.

Education Facilities Company Limited (EFCL) repaired the leaking sewer, but parents are still concerned about their daughters safety.

“I am not pleased. Every day my daughters are seeing people coming in to fix the wires, and that just makes them feel as if the school is not safe,” said Tafara Lewis, who has two daughters attending the school.

Lewis said despite the parents’ many complaints, the school has opened, and electricians have been doing “patch work” on the school’s electrical structure.

Last week the term officially began, but Lewis said the school had a low turnout on Monday, as parents were not sure if they should send their children to school. On Tuesday last, the school opened with near full attendance, but Lewis said the school was still having similar problems.

The parents say the school, which is more than 100-years-old is riddled with termites.

The termites have infested both the school’s structure and the furniture. Lewis and other parents have complained about having to mend their daughters’ skirt when it rips on the school’s benches. Aside the termite infestation, the school has had in the past rats, cats, bats, pigeons and snakes on the compound.

Lewis said last week some children found a hole with snakes.

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