2 schools re-open today
By RACHAEL ESPIENT Monday, March 10 2014
PRINCES Town East Secondary and Williamsville Secondary schools will re-open today for the first time in weeks. This was announced on the weekend in a release from the Ministry of Education.
The Princes Town East has had a haphazard school term as teachers refused to attend school due to fears of mould spores and other microbials at the school compound. To date, teachers walked off the school’s premises three times after students and teachers reported feeling ill.
On January 13, teachers walked off the school’s compound stating that the building is unsafe due to suspicion of mould and other microbials growing in the air-conditioning vents. Teachers refused to teach on grounds that they were working in an unsafe environment, and would not return until the mould was removed.
On February 3, the school was reopened upon reassurance from the Ministry of Education that the area was cleaned and safe for students and teachers to return. That day four students of the school were rushed to the health facility after complaining about feeling dizzy, and having severe skin and eye irritations. These students were treated and discharged on the same day.
Teachers also complained of feeling dizzy but did not seek any medical treatment.
Results from air quality testing done by the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute CARIRI on Princes Town East reveal that there was no mould, and the air in the school was safe for the students and staff. Classes resumed on February 18; however, when school called that Monday, students and staff complained of itching.
Teachers chose not to attend school until repairs were done. Officials from the Ministry stated that they suspected that the agent causing the illness came from a specific area in the school and that part was isolated.
On Friday there was a meeting at the Princes Town East Secondary School, between Ministry of Education Officials, Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) representatives and the Education Facilities Company Limited (EFCL).