– President’s College reopening delayed by one week
Public schools countrywide are slated to be reopened tomorrow (September 1) with the exception of President’s College and the Enmore Hope Primary.
This disclosure was made yesterday by Minister within the Education Ministry, Dr Desrey Fox. According to Dr. Fox, a total of 45 schools were identified for rehabilitation, among them are the two schools that will experience a delayed opening date.
She explained that because of the extensive works that must to be carried out, particularly on the roof at President’s College, it is not likely to re-open until the following week.
However, there is no word as to when the rehabilitation works on the Enmore Hope Primary School will be completed to allow for its re-opening.
She explained that while efforts could have been engaged to have all the schools open on the stipulated date, the need to ensure that teachers and students are afforded a wholesome environment to operate took precedence.
According to the Minister, she has been able to assess the readiness of some schools in Central Georgetown and found some not to be in an acceptable condition. She related that while some buildings have been restored in various forms, there is the problem of overgrowth in some compounds, an issue she has raised with the relevant personnel.
“I have visited some of these schools and I have spoken about the state of some of these school yards….But I am being told if they weed the grass too early it will grow back fast…But that’s not what I want to hear, I want to see the schools ready to open…”
Additionally, the Minister disclosed that there have been some water problems and washroom issues that have surfaced. She noted though that measures will be put in place to address most if not all, of the troubles that are reported to the Education Ministry.
And the Ministry, according to her, is trying to work closely with teachers as well as parents in trying to ensure that the school environment is one that is comfortable and conducive for teaching and learning.
“Parents themselves have been reporting things to us and we have been responding to them…putting things in place that they are concerned about…As they check, we will try to sort things out.”
President of the Guyana Teachers Union, Colwyn King, during a recent press conference had warned teachers to refuse to teach, and parents to refuse to send their children to schools that are of an unacceptable condition when the new term commences. He had related that based on information, a period of El Nino has officially commenced, thus the general environment has proven to be extremely hot. This development, he said now requires that the Ministry puts measures in place to address the potentially uncomfortable situation.
“I wish to state to all teachers, parents and students that they should ensure that the environs in which they are asked to operate in on September 1 are conducive for working and learning. The law is clear about this…”
King highlighted that in 1944 when zinc roofs were introduced the law made it clear that all zinc roofs should be closely boarded (claw-boarded) allowing for a more comfortable environment that was conducive for learning.
“A school without claw-boarding at this time, at around 10:00 hours, will reduce the ability of the children to settle. Their ability to retain and function becomes zero if those buildings are not properly ventilated.”
The law, according to King also caters to the need for water at every school building. Accordingly, he highlighted that no school should operate without access to portable water, adding that the need for water is even more crucial as the Health Ministry struggles to contain the impact of the H1N1 virus (Swine Flu).
“Health and safety should be our top priority, therefore the environment in which we are asking our children to be in should have clean water and be free of any danger to them,” King had asserted.
But according to Dr. Fox, “We are doing our very best to get this enormous task done right and we are hoping that we will get better and better in the future.”
And as part of her efforts to ensure that schools are ready for tomorrow’s schedule opening, the Minister has streamlined a number of visits today which are likely to take her to schools in the Georgetown District.
She reported yesterday that based on information provided to the Ministry, schools in Region Three are among those that are truly ready for the opening, adding that, “those that are not ready they have just this one day to get it right.”
The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) is struggling to meet its usual buffer stock of 170 units of blood per day, as organisations did not commit to hosting any blood drives during the course of last week.
This is according to National Blood Donor Manager of the blood bank, Shameeza Mangal, who told Kaieteur News yesterday that while the buffer stock is improving on a daily basis, the NBTS still needs to replenish the blood that it gives out to the various hospitals.
In this regard, she added that for the new week, the entity will focus all of its energy on getting organizations to come on board and host blood drives.
Mangal also commended the voluntary donors for assisting the NBTS in its time of need.
She reiterated that blood cannot be manufactured, and as such she stressed the importance of persons donating.
At this time also, the Ministry of Health is in the process of eliminating the family donor replacement program, as Health Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy had noted that he does not want persons to be traumatised because their relatives need blood and they (the family) have to be responsible for finding donors.
Dr. Ramsammy had also announced that the blood buffer stock is expected to increase to 200 units per day as services are expanding within the health sector.
Minister Ramsammy had predicted that by 2012, 12,000 units of blood maybe needed. This prediction he noted might very well become a reality before 2012.
“The demand for this important life saving product has grown faster than my predictions. So our 2012 needs have been reached now… we have need for that now…but our capacity to supply that is not there yet,” the Health Minister had explained
To this effect, this newspaper understands that approximately 90% of the blood collected at the blood bank goes to the GPHC, as more complicated surgeries are conducted at that medical facility.
Additionally, private health institutions are also supplied with blood from the NBTS.
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