Students block in teachers

Scene at Arima Central Secondary School yesterday.

PORT OF SPAIN — Students at the Arima Central Secondary School yesterday barred teachers from leaving the staffroom by putting chairs and tables to block their exit. This action, which began when school was dismissed at 12:30 p.m., was preceded by weeks of protests over the fact that students had only half-day school for three weeks.

Secretary General of the T&T‚Unified Teachers Association, Peter Wilson, said he was not aware of yesterday’s protest but confirmed ongoing issues at the school.

“There was a problem in terms of air-condition units breaking down and students being unable to continue work after lunch due to the heat,” Wilson said.

He said repairs were supposed to have been undertaken last week, according to the Ministry of Education, but nothing had been done. When the T&T Guardian visited the school yesterday, students stood outside their classrooms and in the yard chanting in protest.

Police later arrived at the school to free the teachers. Parents were called in to collect their children, as only 10 teachers were present to supervise them. One parent complained that the parent-teacher association was inactive. Students said they planned to continue the protest until the units were fixed and classes returned to normal. (Guardian)

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