The Barbados Secondary Teacher’s Union (BSTU) is again raising alarm over the situation at Combermere School.
During a meeting today at Solidarity House, BSTU President Mary Redman told the large gathering that instead of going away, the environmental problems were resurfacing, with the union receiving constant complaints about an awful stench, which has been plaguing the Waterford, St Michael learning institution over the last two years.
“I have been constantly receiving reports about stench in classrooms on a relatively frequent basis. Some days as many of five or six classroom are affected. I was also told today just before leaving school that there was that problem,” Redman reported after a team of experts recently completed extensive rehabilitation work and gave the all-clear for classes to resume at Waterford earlier this
year, following its temporary closure last November at the height of the environmental problems.
However, just three weeks ago classes were once again disrupted as a result of a foul odour, resulting in temporary evacuation of the building.
In support of Redman’s position, outspoken Senior Teacher Reverend Charles Morris today said that it was now commonplace for ambulances to visit the school almost on a daily basis to attend to children affected by the environmental issues.
“As a matter of fact the ambulance service should be moved from where it is and placed at Combermere School, because we use the ambulance more than anyone else, as far as I am concerned,” he said, pointing out that as recently as today there was one on the school compound “and we had to clear a classroom because of the stench.
“We have to address this issue because it seems as if some of us are still scared to speak out about what is going on at Combermere School,” he told the gathering of teachers, while warning that the situation was dire and that “somebody is going to die up there one of these days.
“This is foolishness and it seems as though there are people somewhere who want to defend this. There are environmental issues at Combermere and they have not been solved and there is no sabotage at the school,” Morris maintained, in an obvious response to claims by Minister of Education Ronald Jones that he had photographic evidence of “exercise books and hand towels clogging the sewer system”.
Meanwhile another teacher at the school, who spoke to Barbados TODAY on condition of anonymity, said that his students often complained of itching and burning of the skin.