Parents fed up with untidy state of Kingstown Government School
February 21, 2014

Parents fed up with untidy state of Kingstown Government School

Parents of students of the Kingstown Government School have once again voiced their complaints regarding the cleanliness of their children’s classrooms.{{more}}

The October 15, 2013 edition of SEARCHLIGHT, carried complaints by

several parents that a particular cleaner had been neglecting her duties of cleaning the kindergarten section of the school.

Although they thought that their actions would cause the female janitor to clean more frequently, they returned to SEARCHLIGHT this week to reveal that the cleaner had not cleaned for at least three months. Additionally, they alleged that their children were getting sick because of the untidy environment.

“She cleaned like two days and she didn’t come back after that,” one parent declared.

“They catching things on their skin. We’re getting fed up. We can’t do this,” a concerned mother said.

According to the group of parents, at least eight children have gone home with ringworm rash, pus-like boils on their hands and legs and in one case, fungus in the head.

When SEARCHLIGHT visited the school, class bins were almost full with garbage and litter was strewn across the floor.

“Most children will get sick because when we refuse to clean…when they come in, they putting their head and hands on the desks and they going eat with the same hands because they don’t know better. They are babies,” a mother said, after disclosing that they had to clean what appeared to be rat feces off of desks on several occasions.

One parent noted that the only reason she continues to clean the classroom on mornings with other mothers is because of the health of her child.

“If the parents don’t come and clean, then the school stays like now. What happens on a day like today when the parents are not cleaning?” one of the class teachers asked.

“What is going to be the next step? If the lady can’t deal with it, then find someone else who can, because children are

getting sick. They have skin problem and I think it’s due to the environment.”

The parents said that they have visited the Ministry of Education at least three times, but nothing has been done to rectify the problem.

SEARCHLIGHT tried to contact the Ministry but was unsuccessful in its efforts.

However, Luis de Shong, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, was contacted to comment on the potential threat posed to the health of the kindergarteners.

In the interview, de Shong stressed that his Ministry was not made aware of the situation at KGS.

“That is a matter that has never been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment. Had that been the case, I would have asked my officers at the Public Health Department to take the required action,” he said.

Furthermore, he opined that the matter may not have been addressed through proper channels as the Chief Education Officer and permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education would have taken action and alerted his Ministry on the matter.

“I am quite confident that had that matter been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Education in the appropriate way, then the Ministry of Education would have been in touch with us immediately, as is their usual practice. This is something that the chief and the PS would do readily,” the Permanent secretary said. “I know that those officials at the Ministry of Education take the necessary action when the matter is brought to their attention”.

He added that he will be sending officers from his Ministry to address whatever health issues there might be going on at the primary institution.

“I imagine that I can now move to send my officers, even in the absence of a report, to see what is the problem. I will immediately inform my officers so that the required action could be taken. As long as we know, we take the remedial action,” de Shong told SEARCHLIGHT.