The main problem with the completion of the San Juan Boys’ and Girls’ Government Primary Schools is that the contractor has discontinued work.
Education Minister, Anthony Garcia, responded to the protest on Monday, the first day of school, when over 200 students protested in front of the school gates demanding that the school be completed.At a press conference yesterday at the Education Towers in Port-of-Spain, Garcia said, “I understand the concern of the parents in that they want to ensure that the new school is built. We have some problems that we are trying to rectify. A major problem is the contractor himself has stopped work on that project.”
He stressed that while the Ministry worked to “iron out the challenges,” the students were being housed in a building in Tunapuna and were receiving an education.
With respect to reports that school guidance counsellors had not been paid in two months and were staying away from work because of years of non-payment of outstanding allowances, Garcia said the reports in the press were “totally inaccurate.”
Dr Lovell Francis, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education told members of the media that he toured schools in Tableland on Thursday and had a discussion with South Eastern guidance counsellors who were conducting a cluster meeting. “There was no indication of any kind they had ever stayed away from work or there was any kind of a boycott. That report is totally in error.”
He also denied reports of counsellors not being paid for two months but admitted that some had been paid late due to administration issues within the Ministry.