The Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) is calling for an air quality test to be conducted at the Coleridge and Parry School after environmental issues interrupted classes at the St Peter school for two days last week.
BSTU president Mary Redman told Barbados TODAY that she was appalled that teachers were working under “horrid” environmental conditions “for what was obviously a very long time”.
“The union is asking for an air quality test to be done because there was something in the environment that persons are reacting to. The conditions at Coleridge and Parry were in some cases very surprising to me in the sense that persons could have been working in such circumstances. Those conditions at the school didn’t just start,” said Redman.
The BSTU president noted that last week the school underwent industrial cleaning. However there is still more work to be done before environmental issues at the learning institution are fully addressed.
“Even after industrial cleaning there were outstanding problems that needed to be addressed swiftly. Even after the intervention of remedial action, we need to prioritize what has to be addressed. So we had those discussions with the principal and the Minister of Education,” said Redman.
She also told Barbados TODAY that even the manner in which the industrial cleaning was done, resulted in some staff members falling ill.
“There was the industrial cleaning at a section of the school during school hours on the Tuesday. On the Wednesday when we went back to the school, based on reports reaching us and based on what we saw when we went there, persons were still reacting very negatively to the environment, because there wasn’t sufficient time allowed for airing the industrially-cleaned area,” she said.
Last week it was reported that there were a host of environmental issues at that school, which included an infestation of bat droppings. As a result, the administration block was closed off as well as other areas of the school. There was also a report of the presence of a container with some sort of unidentified chemical contents.
Today Redman revealed that apart from the industrial cleaning the Ministry of Education has assured the union that further remedial work will be done.
“There has been on-going work and we did see that and we did hear of plans to remedy some of the things that have been posing a problem. We are seeing evidence of this,” she noted