Concerned about the possibility of caimans and insects crawling into schools in his constituency, Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal urged the Education Ministry to put programmes in place to ensure schools are properly cleared by pest-control companies.
"I called on the Ministry to ensure that they (schools) are sprayed and freed of insects, fleas, reptiles, centipede, rats and so on," Moonilal said.
"We are in the rainy season. The schools have been closed (since March because of the covid19 pandemic) and there are rivers in this area. Caimans can easily go into the schools."
Additionally, he charged that since the "lockdown" some schools had become structurally damaged. He opted not to give details but said the wall of a school shifted and he knows about "situations regarding structural challenges."
Moonilal was speaking at his constituency office in Debe on Wednesday when he distributed hampers with sanitising products to nine primary and five secondary schools in the constituency. Kenneth Suratt, executive officer of the Blind Welfare Association, also received a hamper on behalf of the association.
The MP said that he and his staff got numerous complaints from principals, teachers and staff about the lack of cleaning supplies ahead of the reopening of the schools.
"Instead of helping a few, we decided to help all. It is a sign of the times that the Government will spend $55 billion this year. They have just approved $2.6 billion in extra supplemental funding," Moonilal said.
"Yet principals and the schools are complaining. All they are getting are a few bars of soap and a bottle of detergent to clean compounds which have, in some cases, 200 to 400 children. Many claimed they have not received supplies from the Ministry."
Moonilal accused the Government of moving with "breakneck speed" to reopen schools for the CSEC and SEA examinations."
The hamper initiative was a collaboration with the business community and Moonilal vowed that they are on standby and ready to assist in whatever way they can.
Representatives from schools, he said, have made other types of requests for things like washbasins, PVC pipe fittings and masks. Many children are too poor to get buy masks, he added.
"They will need more than once per week. We are trying to source children’s masks for the students. I am calling for donations of masks for children as well as sanitisers."
He also called on hardware owners to donate items such as washing basins, sinks and PVC fittings.