BRING your evidence!
This was TT Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA’s) president Lynsley Doodhai’s challenge on Wednesday to Education Minister Anthony Garcia.
The latter has claimed sabotage was to blame for the setbacks experienced at some schools before they reopened for the new term on Monday. “It is not the first time that the minister would have made that accusation about schools being sabotaged,” he told reporters after a sod-turning ceremony for TTUTA’s teachers’ centre at Carlsen Field, Chaguanas.
“As far as we are concerned at the TTUTA, we would want to have evidence presented to us to support that claim, and until evidence is supported, we will not want to give credence to that statement.” At a news conference on Monday, Garcia said the ministry faced several challenges, which involved a bomb threat, fire, protest and foreign objects put in the sewage systems of some schools.
Garcia, who addressed the sod-turning ceremony, told reporters that a contractor working at the Diego Martin RC School on Sunday found clothing stuffed in the sewers, while a fire, triggered presumably by an electrical problem, erupted at the San Juan South Secondary School on Saturday.
He claimed the clothing found in the sewers of Diego Martin RC could have been an act of sabotage, as “Persons seemed hell-bent on disrupting the smooth functioning of our schools.
But yesterday, Doodhai said he did not know why Garcia would make such a statement. “Teachers are occupiers of the school for a large part of the day and I do not know why the minister made that statement. I don’t know who he was really referring to, whether it’s teachers, students, political opponents...
“But I want to categorically state that our teachers will not sabotage our schools. In fact, as the Biche RC School would have shown, our teachers go the extra mile to occupy schools that are not 100 per cent OSH-compliant. So I want to refute any suggestions or imputations that teachers are involved in the sabotage of our nation’s schools,” Doodhai said.