Members of the Malick Secondary school Parent Teachers Association (PTA) are calling for a member of that school’s administrative staff to be fired.
This was the call by several members of the PTA who were accompanied by students in school uniform in a placard protest yesterday outside of the Ministry of Education in Port of Spain yesterday.
“The ceiling in the auditorium has caved in. Fixtures in classrooms are falling apart. Electrical outlets are exposed, there is no cafeteria and there are fleas and rats in the science labs,” PTA vice president Karen Walters claimed. Malick Secondary also has flooded classrooms whenever rain falls. “We can’t continue to make our children stay away from classes. The working condition for both teachers and children are unsafe,” said a mother who was among the protesters, who asked not to be named.
Walters said that initially, teachers stayed in the dilapidated classrooms to teach students but last week they took the decision to stay away as nothing comprehensive was being done to address these issues. “Our children are the ones being affected. The environment is hazardous and now teachers are staying away. Once nothing is done we will continue to protest because we need our students in school,” said Walters. “We cannot say an area is depressed and add to that depression. Our children are fighting for an education, not guns. We are building our communities and instead of being assisted we are being broken down.”
Walters claimed that complaints made to a member of the school’s staff appears to have fallen on deaf ears. “The Ministry has not engaged us yet. We want the school to be repaired very soon and we are willing to help with assistance of the Ministry,” Walters said.
The protest began on Monday outside the school and moved yesterday outside the ministry office. Calls to the school staffer, identified by the protesting parents, for a comment proved futile.