Class four students of the Lawrence T Gay Memorial School started classes at the neighbouring Grace Hill Moravian Church where they have been relocated as a result of environmental issues plaguing their Spooner’s Hill, St Michael plant.
And while Vice President of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) Richmark Cave told reporters this morning that the students and teachers had settled in well at the temporary location, parents and guardians voiced concerns about the need to find a solution for the air quality issue which started in 2015.
Parents told Barbados TODAY that they were relieved that arrangements were made to resume classes for the class four students who were preparing for the 11 Plus Examination in May, however, they wanted to know what solution would be made for the remaining school body.
“I happy that they are back at school because the Common Entrance is around the corner. But my major concern right now is I got a seven-year-old at the same Lawrence T Gay that is out of school and my concern is that the ministry gets something sorted because it is difficult for parents to make preparations for them.
“It is either me or the mom have to stay home with him. The fortunate thing for me is that I am self-employed. But I know other parents will be facing similar issues,” one concerned father lamented.
“I am glad my daughter is back in class preparing for the 11 Plus because that is important. But right now I can’t go to work because I have nobody to keep my little boy who is in Infants B.
“I mean this is too long this problem going on at that school now and I am beginning to think the ministry doesn’t care about parents. And then I will hear these people in the news talking about they are concerned about all of these people reporting sick. But in situations like this one, you really can’t leave the child home alone, or take them to work with you, and don’t tell me about grandparents because the grand parents got to go to work too,” another parent said.
Meanwhile, Cave said he too was happy to see the class four students back in the teaching/learning environment.
He said he had no problem with the students being housed at the church since that was what happened in 2015 when the environmental issues started.
“I don’t have a problem with them being housed here because right now there are just three class four’s. Previously when they were relocated in 2015 we had a whole infants department here, which is something like nine to ten classes and we didn’t get any complaints. And with three classes here I don’t see a problem,” Cave added.
The BUT official said he was aware about plans to conduct detailed testing on the air quality to be sent overseas. However, Cave said until those results return, he was aware that all stakeholders were hoping that the entire school could get back to a conducive learning environment.
Last week, following a flare-up of the environmental issues, students and parents met with ministry officials, including acting Education Officer Joy Adamson to discuss the recurring problem. [email protected]