No news is good news.
This is Minister of Education Ronald Jones’ take on the resettling of students and staff at Combermere Secondary School at Waterford, St Michael.
The school reopened its gates at the beginning of the school term after prolonged closure due to environmental concerns.
Two weeks into the term, Jones told Barbados TODAY there had been no complaints after an environmental team carried out extensive rehabilitation work at the school.
Teachers had walked off the job last November after complaints of a foul ordour, dizziness, itching and burning.
While the source of the recurring environmental issues – which had plagued the school for over a year – were not narrowed down to a single culprit, the environment experts advised that testing the effectiveness of the sweeping measures put in place required a return to normality at the learning institution.
“We have had quiet and we have had the delivery of education, we have done everything humanly possible. We have had teams of scientists of every background that you can think about, who have been over that plant from left to right and top to bottom. This was done so that students and teachers who come to school are reasonably comfortable,” Jones said.
However, the minister was cautious not to pronounce the problem solved, insisting his ministry would continue to monitor the situation quite closely in the coming weeks.
“For me to say in an exact unequivocal way that nothing will happen [in the future] is a false premise. What we will continue to do is monitor not only Combermere but also every school as we normally do,” he said.
Jones also revealed he was somewhat baffled at the level acrimony created over the Combermere issue even though other schools had also suffered serious setbacks, which had equally taxed the ministry’s resources.
“Combermere has not been the only school with issues; we had LT [Lawrence T] Gay, we went in there and spent a whole wash pan of money, put the students at other schools and they have been back there now for three terms now and we have not heard any noise. We have issues at St Paul’s because some of the schools had older construction, limestone and stuff like that, but the children are back in at St Paul’s and we have not had any complaints because we have moved in at the time we became aware,” Jones stressed.