Categorized | Featured, National News

Schools To Resume Today


Education, Science and Technology Minister Jerome Fitzgerald confirmed yesterday that both the Stephen Dillet and Uriah McPhee Primary Schools will resume classes today after both schools were closed last week to undergo repairs.

The closure of the schools came less than two weeks after classes resumed for the new academic year.

Teachers complained of mold infestation and ventilation issues at Stephen Dillet as well as problems from the fumes emanating from the freshly painted walls that hadn’t dried because the school doesn’t have enough windows.

Meanwhile, the complaints at Uriah McPhee were of rodents and a malfunctioning air condition unit.

It has been another hiccup for the Ministry of Education which faced demonstrations from The Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) early last week.

The BUT has since filed six trade disputes with the Ministry of Labour.

However, Mr. Fitzgerald said the issues at the two schools have been resolved and the all clear has been given for the classes to resume.

The minister explained that most of the problems at the two schools could not be foreseen because of the design of both buildings.

Both Stephen Dillet and Uriah McPhee are single structures with few windows.

“Our main concern at the Ministry of Education is to ensure that our teachers and students are in a safe and secure environment,” he said.

“There’s no doubt that when these two schools were designed it probably seemed like a good idea back then but it has caused innumerous challenges for the ministry because these schools don’t have any windows and the air conditioner has to be working all the time.”

Mr. Fitzgerald said he is satisfied with the work that has been carried out at the schools and he reiterated his confidence in the inspection procedures.

The minister explained that the problems uncovered at the schools are minor but immediate steps were taken to rectify the matters as soon as they discovered.

“We have various levels of inspection from the Ministry of Work to our own people in the department down to the principals and the teachers but you have to understand, that some things if you don’t see them or they are concealed you don’t realise that it’s a issue,” Mr. Fitzgerald said.

“Once it came to our attention what it was, we had to remove the ceiling to find out that the duct work wasn’t properly done or to the standard we had anticipated or expected and once we found that out we moved to remedy the situation.”

The minister also noted that he does not anticipate the school closures to have any significant impact on the primary school students who have missed several days of school due to the closure.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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