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Saturday 17 August 2019
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Church board against child protestors

THE Presbyterian Primary School’s Board of Education (PPSBE) yesterday cautioned parents of Princes Town Primary Presbyterian No 1 school against involving their children in protests as a strategy to get their school rebuilt.

The PPSBE said while it understands the parents' desire to have the demolished school rebuilt on the site at Edward Street, it cannot support children being part of the protest.

“The PPSBE fully supports the efforts of the parents to have the Princes Town No 1 Presbyterian School rebuilt and understands their frustration and concerns. However, the PPSBE does not endorse students being part of the protests or that keeping students away from school will aid the cause of having the school rebuilt. Teaching time must be maximised in the present circumstances while parents exercise their rights to protest to demonstrate their concerns.”

The board, in a joint statement issued by chairman Rev Anthony Rampersad and general secretary Rosalind Gunness, also denied statements that the land on which the school is to be rebuilt is no longer available as it has been earmarked for a business venture or to be sold.

“These statements have no basis in fact as neither the PPSBE nor the Presbyterian Church (PCTT) has made such a decision," it said. "The school is to be rebuilt on its former site and the PPSBE awaits a decision from the Ministry of Education (MOE) on this project. The PPSBE continues to work with all stakeholders including the MOE to end the shift system and provide a positive holistic learning environment for students and teachers.”

The children from the No 1 Presbyterian school have been sharing premises with the Princes Town Primary Presbyterian No 2 school for the past three years, after their building was demolished. The school has been operating on a shift system and parents and students from both schools have stepped up their protest to get the school rebuilt. They say it is more than an inconvenience after three years under this arrangement.

The board also called on the ministry to discuss with it plans for completing four schools on which construction was stopped almost three years ago. They are the Siparia Union, Curepe, Woodbrook and Piparo Presbyterian Schools. The board also want dialogue on the construction of the Longdenville, Harmony Hall and Sangre Chiquito Presbyterian schools.

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