EDUCATION Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly says her ministry is working to relocate students of Palmiste Government Primary School in Longdenville, after an early morning fire destroyed 80 per cent of its structure on Thursday. No one was injured in the fire.
In a phone interview with Newsday, she said the fire started around 1 am and her ministry was collaborating with the fire department and she was awaiting its report.
To parents of the affected students, Gadsby-Dolly said, “I'm just letting them know that this is a very unfortunate circumstance. However, the ministry, as is usual, will do what is required to ensure the educational continuity of all of our students. And so we're working assiduously on that.”
The minister said while some areas remained intact, they were deemed unsafe.
Newsday visited the area and spoke to resident Inshan Mohammed, who lives opposite the school which is at School Road and Brasso Caparo Valley Road, Longdenville.
He said, at around 3 am, he was awoken by his seven dogs barking. When he checked on them, he saw the school on fire. Mohammed said the security guard at the school told him they had called the fire service which arrived at around 3.30 am.
He said about a month before, the school had recently refurbished its roof.
“The school wasn’t in bad condition; it was a good school. I went there, my father, all of us.”
Nearby shopkeeper Shereen Ali said the neighbouring dog woke her and she was saddened by the fire.
She said while the school did not have a cafeteria, it did sell water and other items and students would visit her shop in the evenings.
She expressed concern that the loss of income would be felt.
Another business owner, who did not wish to be identified, said the school's students were from poor families and they hoped the ministry could put measures in place so affected families would not have to bear additional financial burdens to send their children to school.
The Palmiste Early Childhood Care Centre is behind the school but was not damaged by the fire. The Chaguanas Fire Station is conducting investigations.
This story was originally published with the title "Fire guts Palmiste Government Primary school" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.
AN early morning fire destroyed 80 per cent of the Palmiste Government Primary School on Thursday.
In a phone interview with Newsday, the Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, said her ministry received a report about the incident.
She said while some areas remained intact, they were deemed unsafe and the ministry has started looking into arrangements for students for the new school term in January.
She said, “This is a very unfortunate circumstance. The ministry will do what is required for the educational continuity of its students and is working assiduously on that.”