Poor conditions close schools

Parents protest conditions.
Parents protest conditions.

Three weeks after the school term reopened, over 400 students of Mafeking Government Primary School, Mayaro, have not had one full day of classes, due to a series of problems, including sewer and electrical issues. At Marabella Government Primary School, 200 more students have been forced to stay away due to rat infestation.

For another time, members of the Mafeking Government Parent Teachers’ Association, led by their president Brian Francis, burnt tyres and blocked the Naparima/Mayaro Road yesterday to bring focus to their plight. However, police officers from Sangre Grande removed parents and debris to allow traffic to flow. Francis said children were being forced to endure unacceptable studying conditions.

He said the problems at the school were not new and promises were made to address the sewer and electrical problems, overcrowding and a shortage of furniture during the August vacation but nothing was done. He said every day parents sent their children to school but after a few hours, classes had to be dismissed. At the Marabella Government School, the cries were the same as an infestation of rats had once again forced its closure.

PTA president Ericson Benjamine said the school was closed since last Friday. He said that followed a visit by the San Fernando Health Department who advised the principal to get an exterminator to deal with the problem. Benjamine said up until yesterday that had not been done and it was not likely the school would be reopened on Monday. He added: “Rat infestation is not our only problem. This school was built over 50 years ago at a time when glass windows were popular.

“At present, almost all of the glass panes on the windows are broken which is a hazard to the students. The ceiling is falling down, the toilets are horrible and the area floods every time it rains.”

A meeting will be held on September 27 at the school’s compound to address the situation. (Trinidad Guardian)

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