THE first day of the new school term yesterday was marked by a protest by pupils of Princes Town No 1 Presbyterian School and their parents. They say the rebuilding of the school at Edward Street is long overdue.
They were led by president of the school’s parent-teacher association Nola Ramjohn Karim, who said its 614 pupils have been attending the Craignish Village Presbyterian School, about two miles away, since their own school was closed two years ago.
The Craignish school houses 400 pupils, so in order to accommodate those from Presbyterian No 1, a shift system was implemented. Karim said in June of 2015, Presbyterian No 1 was deemed unfit and the ministry closed the school.
Construction of a new school was supposed to begin on an adjacent empty lot.
She said the PTA met with Education Minister Anthony Garcia on the issue.
“He promised to rebuild the school just as he had completed the New Grant Anglican School. The minister promised that the Education Facilities Company Ltd will begin construction within three months, but instead more than two years have gone, and not a nail.”
Parents said the infants in Presbyterian No 1 are taken to the Presbyterian No 2 for the 12.30 pm shift, because the latter attend the 8 am shift.
The general population of both schools is therefore given four hours to complete the day’s work, the PTA president said.
“The students in standard one, two and three cannot keep up with the level of work that is required to advance due to the shift system.”
Karim expressed fears that that the standard five children of both schools would not be able to meet SEA standards.
She said the PTA decided to keep their children away from school until construction starts.
“We will continue to protest until the Ministry of Education takes heed and deliver on their promise of a new school,” Karim said.