THE start of the second week of school, on Monday morning saw parents of students at the Fyzabad Anglican Secondary school demonstrating their dissatisfaction at the state of the building.
Chanting, “We want a new school, we want a safe school, we not take that,” the frustrated parents questioned whether “those in authority would allow their children to be educated in a building like this.”
They pledged to keep their children away from school until a satisfactory alternative is presented.
Last week students were denied valuable teaching time as teachers refused to work in an environment where a dilapidated building in the middle of the grounds poses a safety risk.
On Friday, Fyzabad MP Dr Lackram Bodoe wrote to Education Minister Anthony Garcia for his urgent attention. Bodoe also promised to raise the issue in Parliament on Monday.
Second vice president of the TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) Kyrla Robertson-Thomas said although the block in the middle of the compound was cordoned off by the ministry, no arrangement was made to relocate the staff or students.
President of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) Everald Jeffery said the body, along with interested parties, was trying to find a solution to get their children back in class.
After the protest, he met with principal Cynthia Seepaul and staff to discuss issues raised by parents to find a solution.
He said their children’s right to an education is paramount.
The building in contention housed close to 400 students. Jeffrey said during the July/August vacation during a walk-through by ministry staff, parts of the building were deemed unsafe for occupation. The administration was asked to make alternative arrangement to house the students, but Jeffrey said the alternatives have proven unsuitable.
Robertson-Thomas said there is no access to toilet facilities at the new location.
She said TTUTA also held firm to the need for access to education for all students and advised the parents and teachers to work together to find a solution until better can be done.