Another week, another school, another direct intervention by the Minister of Education into an environmental issue prompts another closure.
After tackling environmental issues at two primary schools in the southern half of the island, one in the north is now closed due to a rodent problem.
This afternoon parents of students attending All Saints’ Primary School, St Peter, were told to pick up their charges at lunch time due to an “environmental issue” at the school. It was also announced that the school would be closed tomorrow for industrial cleaning.
Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw explained that the problem first manifested itself on Monday but initial attempts to solve the problem through baiting failed to sufficiently deal with it. The decision was then taken to close the school until Monday.
Bradshaw explained: “On Monday, the Ministry of Education would have been alerted to the problem at the All Saints’ Primary. We would have called in the Ministry of Health, who would have baited the area. I believe that today there were further concerns when teachers and students went back into the institution and they discovered additional rat droppings. So I think for the safety of both students and teachers, measures were taken to move them from the classroom.”
When Barbados TODAY visited the school this afternoon, personnel in surgical gloves could be seen disposing of items that could provide a haven for rodents. Education officials were also at the school carrying out an assessment.
Bradshaw revealed that the approach to the problem is quite extensive, stressing that her “ministry is doing all it can to address these matters at this time, so that school can re-open on Monday”.
She continued: “The unit in the Ministry responsible for maintenance would have done a thorough inspection of the premises and they would have discovered some areas that would have required the disposal of some old books and furniture. We are also looking at sealing some of the areas where rats are likely to enter. There were areas in the roof that were a major problem in terms of electrical wiring, and we believe that some of the mice may also be in the trunking as well. So that now has to be taken apart so that we can actually determine where the mice are in the actual building.”
She further revealed that over the past few weeks a list of schools have been sent to the Ministry of the Environment with details on areas where “anti-rodent measures” were needed on the surroundings.
She also contended that the start of sugar cane harvest might have also compounded the issue.
Earlier this month, rodent infestation at the Milton Lynch Primary School in Christ Church sparked protests from parents and teachers. [email protected]bb
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