As the Parkinson Memorial Secondary School remains closed on Friday for authorities to determine what caused several students and staff to fall ill on Wednesday, the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) is reporting satisfaction with the way the matter is being handled.
In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon, the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training announced that the school’s Wildey, St Michael plant will be closed for a second consecutive day and classes will remain online.
“The Ministry of Health and Wellness will continue their investigations in and around the school plant,” it added. “Further updates will be provided as soon as investigations are completed.”
This follows the National Petroleum Corporation (NPC) using leak detection equipment and the Barbados Fire Service testing for the presence of flammable gases on the school compound the same evening students and teachers fell ill.
On Thursday morning when a Barbados TODAY team visited the school, officers from the Environmental Protection Department and NPC were on site.
President of the BUT Rudy Lovell met with the union’s deputy general secretary Asha Yearwood and they both walked around the block that had been occupied by the students and teachers who fell ill, as well as other areas.
Afterwards, Lovell said it was important for the BUT to visit the school and ensure the necessary procedures were being followed.
“At this point in time, we are satisfied with what has happened. The Ministry of Education has worked with other government agencies to investigate the occurrence . . . . But what we can say is that there is nothing conclusive so far that we can reveal with regards to what happened,” he told Barbados TODAY.
“Today, I walked around with the principal and several members from the Ministry of Health. There was also a contingent from the NPC [and] as a union we want to ensure that the environment is conducive to the teaching and learning process, so we are doing our part to ensure that happens.”
Lovell said he hoped the issue would be resolved once the school reopened. (SZB)