THE EDITOR: We read on the daily news and and are bombarded on social media of the social decay at our public secondary schools – threats to teachers, the use of illegal drugs, sex acts and absenteeism of both teachers and students. The Siparia Secondary School was recently mentioned, and criticised by both the Ministry of Education and the general public.
We tend to identify the causes as bad parentage and the absence of fathers in the homes is a major concern. We are, however, forgetting another factor as one of the causes of bad behaviour – the environment where students and teachers gather daily. Schools are dilapidated – mould is displayed on the walls, windows and doors are broken, and tables and benches are in a terrible state. This has been so for years.
Some schools are deemed to be structurally dangerous to inhabitants. An example is the Mt Hope Secondary School. It has been said by structural engineers that the earth has been shifting under the school for years and can cause injuries to both teachers and students a new school was recommended.
Under the the Manning administration between 2005-2010, the construction of a new Mt Hope Secondary School did begin and was 98 per cent complete, it is situated west of the present school. Because of transition of power by both the UNC and PNM, this school and many others throughout the country were left abandoned, we even have reports of people using a particular school compound for the planting of marijuana.
Do we in TT have money growing on trees that we can afford to play politics with children being housed in proper educational environments?
Athelston Clinton, Arima.