Classes at the Elliott Belgrave Primary School were affected today by environmental issues at the Gays, St Peter institution.
Barbados TODAY understands that recently several teachers at the institution have had to seek medical care after feeling unwell as a result of moldy walls and smoke from regular indiscriminate burning in the area.
When contacted, President of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT), Sean Spencer, told Barbados TODAY that the staff has reiterated repeatedly its concerns about moisture and mold in the soft stonewalls.
Recently, a cupboard in the nutrition room also revealed the presence of mold.
“For some reason or reasons, these problems have not been addressed immediately or brought to remediation. These teachers have been ailing for a number of weeks. Persons would have experienced respiratory problems, and they would have made their concerns known to the principal.
“We do know that there has been some downturn in the health of staff. As far as I can recall, a number of them reported to the clinic and I think the officers at the clinic would be able to attest to that,” Spencer said.
Spencer said the issues affecting the teachers, students and other staff members, have been drawn to the attention of authorities, including the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environment.
He said the union has also contacted the labour department about the challenges at the school.
“What we have noted as a matter of consistency is that we are being told to go between two or three different agencies and they are all pointing fingers at the others. So a resolution has been difficult.
“The school was initially earmarked to be rebuilt. However, the programme has not got off the ground. So what evidence would suggest is that the plant would have deteriorated during the time that the school was listed and the present time. But these issues have to be dealt with,” he said.
The president said he was finding it hard to understand how Government offices have been closed and cleaned whenever environmental issues occurred, but the same was not being done for schools.
“For some reason, individuals seem to think that teachers are second-class citizens and therefore their concerns are not important. I would like to see that attitude being changed. [email protected]