BRAGSA to begin repairs on New Adelphi Secondary School soon
October 21, 2016
BRAGSA to begin repairs on New Adelphi Secondary School soon

The Roads Buildings and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) will soon begin much needed repairs at the New Adelphi Secondary School.

This, after the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union (SVGTU) highlighted a number of health and structural problems at the Biabou based secondary school and asked its members to stay away.{{more}}

In a letter dated October 18 and headlined, “SVGTU Expresses Alarm over the State of the New Adelphi Secondary School”, the Union said that it was alarmed and extremely concerned about the deteriorating conditions at the school and called on the Ministry of Education to take immediate action and implement the steps necessary to correct the situation.

“The Union contends that the school is currently unfit for use as it poses a significant threat to the health and safety of staff and students and other users of the building,” said the SVGTU.

In its letter, the SVGTU alleged that it had brought the condition of the school to the attention of the relevant authorities, “and to date very little or nothing has been done to effectively address the matter.”

The letter, signed by the public relations officer (PRO) of the SVGTU Wendy Bynoe, stressed, “In the meantime, the situation worsens as termites, rodents, mosquitoes, as well as the decaying structure, and the general state of disrepair, continue to create grave fear and anxiety among staff, students and parents who are understandably concerned about their health and safety.”

In response, attendance at school of staff and students has been minimal, as the authorities move to rectify the problems at the learning institution.

When SEARCHLIGHT visited the school on Wednesday, a number of students were milling about under a tree at the compound and said that their teacher had not turned up. A few other students were unsupervised in classrooms, while about three teachers were supervising another group of students. The principal referred all questions to the Ministry of Education.

On Wednesday, Minister of Education Jimmy Prince said that the Ministry is aware of the condition at the school. He said that they have observed a wormwood problem, bats in the roof and bat droppings, among other things.

Prince noted that the Public Health Department was asked to check the buildings to see how the problem of bat droppings could be alleviated.

“We have taken some measures to alleviate the situation,” Prince said, noting that when they became aware of the problems, they removed the school’s lab and took it to the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) in Biabou and evacuated the classrooms that were most affected.

“We did a number of things while we await the main repairs by BRAGSA and we still don’t think that the situation warrants a closure, as provisions were made while the problem is fixed,” said Prince.

The Education Minister said that a number of schools around the island have been worked on, but no work was done at Adelphi.

Prince said that the fixing will take place in the “next couple of weeks” while the school’s principal, Alwyn Joseph, has made arrangements to use “usable” classrooms. Some students will take up classes at the LRC in Biabou and Prince said that if necessary, part of the Biabou Primary School will be used, but he does not think it would come to that.

“We are doing all we can to ensure the school is back to normal. Engineers at BRAGSA are working and we are hoping that in a few weeks we are back to a situation where the children could move back in,” said Prince.

He added that the Ministry does not have a perfect situation in all schools because of resources, “…but we have been trying to ensure that the entire school plant is usable and is friendly towards teachers and students. We don’t want to victimize students and say close schools, so we will find ways and means in helping them out”. (LC)