That was the cry of parents at the only Government all boys’ primary school.
The disgruntled parents took to the streets for a silent protest over the environmental concerns that plague the school including rodent and termite infestation, wandering animals and cow-itch on the playing field.
A woman who wanted to remain anonymous told Barbados TODAY that the protest was mounted to bring attention to the unsanitary bathrooms and other conditions their children and their teachers face daily at the Milton Lynch Primary School in Christ Church.
“There has been no industrial cleaning in this school for years! The bathrooms are quite unsanitary, and the wells have not been serviced. So those are the detrimental hazards the boys and the teachers are also faced with at the Milton Lynch Primary School,” she said.
The woman who was armed with placards and a petition for members to sign said that the students at the school have been excelling despite the unsatisfactory environs of the school.
“At the end of the day we cannot really bring out the best in these boys with the conditions that we have to work with and they are very productive. We are cricket champions, chess champions but yet still we have few resources to work with and an unclean environment,” she said.
She was supported by Sasha Reece, the parent of a Class Two child who told Barbados TODAY that the Ministry of Education has neglected the Water Street learning institution in recent years.
“For the past two years, it seems we have been under the shadows. It seems as though we have not been heard. It seems that they have forgotten us,” she said.
Reece added she was dissatisfied with the way the school was cleaned over the weekend by the industrial cleaners sent by the Ministry of Education Science Technology and Innovation.
“I went to a meeting here and I saw bird droppings on the railings and I could not touch the railings to get up the stairs properly. Imagine the many boys that we have walking up the stairs,”’ she told Barbados TODAY.
Reece said she spoke to her child’s form teacher and decided to provide Clorox wipes to ensure that her child has clean furniture in his classroom. However, she believes that parents cannot fix the myriad of problems at the school alone thus they would need the assistance of the ministry.
“There is so much that a parent can do. This school needs help and we need it now,” she said.
Rodney Lovell who is also a parent of a child attending Milton Lynch told Barbados TODAY teachers cannot function in an unclean environment and this poses a threat to students especially those who are about to sit the Common Entrance Exam in May.
“If the environment isn’t clean the teachers cannot function. If the teachers can’t function the children are going to suffer. This is a school that has had boys that have had 100 per cent in the 11+ exam,” Lovell said.
The frustrated parent supported by his wife Dawn, who said the school should have been closed to deal with the cow-itch issue which is affecting the students’ playing field.
“They have cow-itch on a pasture they have to play on every day. It is not good enough!” she stressed.
Lovell told Barbados TODAY she will be withholding her son from the school until the environmental concerns have been rectified.
Parent Nicole Went said she decided to participate in the petition because it seems the school was being pushed aside time and time again.
“It is about time something is done with Milton Lynch it has been too long.. We matter, our children matter. They are our future,” Went said.
Katelyn Bourne who is the parent of a five-year-old-boy in Reception said her son did not want to attend school because he is afraid to eat or use the bathroom because of the state of the facilities.
“My son did not even want to come to school this morning or yesterday. Because he was telling me about how the table is – that when he sits at the table it itches his skin. He told me, ‘Mummy I feel uncomfortable I can’t use the bathroom I have to wait until I get home.’ My son is at school from 8 o’clock and has to wait til 3 o’clock to use the bathroom. Tell me as a parent how I am supposed to feel,” Bourne told Barbados TODAY.
The frustrated parent who became emotional said her son is so afraid to eat in the school’s compound that she now has to make his packed lunches to take to school.
“This is supposed to be a school where they feel comfortable home away from home and if they do not feel comfortable here where else are they going to feel comfortable,” she said.
Bourne added she has to bathe her son in Savlon when he returns home from school as well as cream his skin with Cetaphil ointment in an attempt to cure the itching from the environmental problems on the compound.
Barbados TODAY toured the compound and saw the railings covered with bird droppings as well as pigeons nestled in the roof of the building. At the back of the school there was caution tape where the materials for construction were being secured as well as the playing field which contains pods of cow-itch.
The principal of the school Everton Briggs while allowing Barbados TODAY to enter the school said he would comment on the situation at a later date.