Parents of students attending St Catherine Primary School in St Philip want the Ministry of Education to explain why their children have been attending classes outdoors for the last month.
One upset parent, Simon Clarke, told Barbados TODAY environmental issues had left teachers with no choice but to abandon a section of building and resort to teaching under a tent and beneath trees.
“I was informed through a rumour that the school has some issues with droppings, dust and fungus. I made a phone call to the principal and it was then I found out that since March 1, 2018, he had informed the Ministry of Education of the situation. My main concern is that neither the ministry nor the school has informed the parents about the issue at hand. We have been in the dark all this time,” Clarke said.
The furious father said he was concerned that the students were being exposed to the elements.
Therefore, he has called on the Ministry of Education to meet with the parents in order to determine the best solution.
“I have concerns with the tent because of the weather, and on top of that the desks and chairs go back inside of the classroom on evenings and we have no idea how these things are being sanitized for use in the morning. In addition, I was made aware of health concerns with some teachers, so sooner rather than later the children would be faced with these issues. I am the one responsible for my child so I need to be told first and foremost what is going on. We don’t know what kind of droppings it is. It could be rat droppings for all I know. We need answers now.
“I think it is beyond unreasonable because we are now almost to the end of April. So
there is no excuse for parents not being informed by letter or phone call or something. There are options such as the nearby church and there is nothing wrong with trying to seek temporary relocation until the issue is dealt with. This is one main areas of the school,” Clarke said.
When Barbados TODAY visited the school this afternoon classes were being conducted under a white tent, as well as under a coconut tree. A third class was crammed into the office of Principal Carlton Reid.
Asked about the development, Reid said the Ministry of Education had been apprised of the situation and that queries should be directed to the ministry.
However, attempts to reach the authorities, including Minster of Education Ronald Jones, and Chief Education Officer Karen Best, proved unsuccessful up to the time of publication.
Just two days ago students of St Lawrence Primary in Christ Church returned to school after the sewage problem on the south coast had forced the closure of that learning institution.
Students were relocated to the Arthur Smith Primary School at Pleasant Hall Land, St Matthias, Christ Church, as well as the St Matthias Church and the St Lawrence Anglican Church during the closure.
Last month, a cow itch infestation caused several stoppages at the Blackman & Gollop School, causing disruption to classes for two weeks.