Students and staff of Grazettes Primary School are back in the classroom after environmental issues disrupted classes on several occasions since the beginning of the school year.
Just after 8 a.m., the students got off chartered buses and walked into the Ebenezer Seventh Day Adventist Church in Eden Lodge and the Breath of Life Seventh Day Adventist Church in White Hall, where they have been relocated until the odour caused by fogging a few weeks ago is resolved.
Chief Education Officer Laurie King, education officers and the school’s principal Etwyn Bynoe were on site to ensure the transitioning process went smoothly.
At Ebenezer, where the younger students were stationed, King spoke to the media as teachers were kept busy trying to make sure students were settled and adjusted to the new environment.
A few students shed a few tears when their parents dropped them off and others evaluated the new setting, while there were those who sat attentively and waited on orders from their teachers.
King said he expected that by tomorrow everything would be brought under control and the main focus would be “getting on with the business of teaching and learning”.
“We may have somebody who may complain about a little heat in a particular room but these are things that happen even in regular school settings. We are doing everything to keep the teachers and the staff comfortable,” he said.
Education Officer Joy Adamson said parents seemed satisfied with the surroundings.
As to how parents felt about the move, Barbados TODAY gathered that there was a sense of mixed emotions.
Some parents said they were generally happy that their charges were given the opportunity to be back in a structured teaching environment, while a few said the locations were too far from the areas where most of the children lived.
One parent, whose child is at Breath of Life said: “We may not like it, but we are going to put up with it because the children are back out to school and not at home doing nothing.”
King thanked the Seventh Day Adventist churches for always offering their facilities to temporarily host teachers and students whenever the ministry was forced to relocate students.
Bynoe did not make an official comment to the media. However, when she addressed students at Ebenezer, she assured them that they would not experience any discomfort, urged them to assist in the transitioning process, and encouraged them to take care of chairs and desk borrowed from several primary and nursery schools for the time they would be there.
“We are here for a little while and the classes are a little close and not like what you are accustomed to, but from this morning we are going to get to work. This furniture was borrowed from different places and when you borrow something you have to take very good care of it,” the principal pleaded.
Speaking to reporters at an event at the Ministry of Education this morning, Acting Minister of Education Senator Harry Husbands said he expected to receive an official report on the first day of the relocation and indicated that he intended to visit the locations this week.
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