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Combermere report due by next week

Minister of Education Ronald Jones expects a report early next week on the air quality at Combermere School.

Speaking to the media this morning following the opening of a workshop at Erdiston Teachers Training College, Jones said a three week assessment of the air quality was being conducted, the findings of which would be reported to him before the start of the next school term.

“It is really an air quality test. We are testing the entire environment and doing some minor renovations to one and two areas where there were issues. Minor adjustments. It would have started a week or two before children went on vacation,” Jones said.

The minister added that all exposed septic areas had already been sealed to prevent the release of gases into the atmosphere.

Additionally, Jones noted that officials were in contact with the owners of an adjacent property at Waterford Bottom, seeking their permission to remove trees believed to responsible for the foul odour of which students and teachers had complained.

The school was closed earlier this month and classes were held in separate locations while officials of the Environmental Health Department and the Ministry of Education sought to remedy the problem.

While Principal Vere Parris had suggested that nearby trees were at the root of the school’s environmental problems, anthropologist Dr Lennox Honychurch disagreed, saying the suspected trees had been present from the time the Waterford school was first occupied in September 1958.

Honychurch also suggested that even though the trees were known to exude a scent that could be considered “unpleasant for people” in the process of pollination, it was unlikely that they were the source of Combermere’s problems. He further suggested to Barbados TODAY that the real problem may exist within the confines of the school’s compound.  (AH)

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