Messy situation at El Do East
By SEAN DOUGLAS Tuesday, March 25 2014
FOR A third straight week, pupils of El Dorado East Secondary School were yesterday sent home due to a faulty sewer system. One of the hundreds of girls and boys thronging the streets told Newsday pupils were sent home at 9 am.
Leading up to yesterday, many pupils had not even bothered to attend school for the previous two weeks. TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) president Davanand Sinanan expressed concern over the continued closure of the school caused by a malfunctioning sewer plant.
He said TTUTA wants to know what the authorities are doing to rectify this messy situation. “Pupils are on the street, some of whom I am sure are getting into nefarious activities and getting into trouble as they are unsupervised,” Sinanan lamented. He said there are many schools which are now shut due to faulty sewers or other problems. These include St Augustine, Aranjuez North and Princes Town secondary schools. Sinanan said the country has never before had a situation where so many schools are shut down at the same time.
Sinanan said each school must be treated on a case by case basis and TTUTA is in constant dialogue with the Ministry. He said such sewer problems arise largely because the Maintenance and Training Service (MTS) no longer provides technical support for school principals who must now rely on their own devices or on a heavily-centralised and overburdened Educational Facilities Company Limited (EFCL).
He suggested the EFCL should decentralise itself so that its technical experts would be quickly available to local principals in each of the country’s seven educational districts.
WASA head of communications Ellen Lewis told Newsday the matter is for the attention of the Education Facilities Company Ltd (EFCL) which is the maintenance/repair/construction arm of the Ministry of Education on the issue of repairs to faulty sewer systems at schools. She added that if the EFCL wishes, they can seek technical advice from WASA.