After almost three weeks of no classes and several protests by its PTA, classes at the Point Fortin East Secondary School have resumed.
In January, the PTA had threatened to shut down the school if repairs that were promised during the Christmas vacation were not done soon.
That included repairing the ceiling along the corridor and the classrooms of one block; repairing and re-commissioning the gas system in the science labs and demolishing a block.
The building was “temporarily closed” last week to facilitate repairs, which students and the PTA had been protesting about. That was revealed via a press release issued by the Ministry of Education last Tuesday.
The school officially reopened on Monday but no classes were held as, according to students, the place was a mess. Most students were kept in the auditorium and others were supervised by teachers in their classrooms.
No cleaning was done by the team who conducted the repairs, and the school’s cleaners were only allowed to enter the compound on Monday. As such, they spent that entire day washing out classrooms and were still doing so on Tuesday.
Speaking with Newsday on Tuesday morning, PTA president Tafara Lewis said she visited the compound. She said the place was still not properly cleaned or sanitised, and that electrical work was being conducted near students.
“Students and teachers are complaining about dust, some teachers are even wearing dust masks.
“If the Ministry (of Education) knew they weren’t ready and cleaning wasn’t done, why was it reopened?”
She said her daughter complained of feeling ill when she returned from school on Monday afternoon.
She believes the reason the students weren’t sent home on Monday is that the Education Ministry knew it would have looked bad.
“They put out a release and they had to stand by it.”
Newsday has been trying to contact Education Minister Anthony Garcia and Minister in the Ministry of Education Dr Lovell Francis since last week, but all calls have gone unanswered.