Jun 15, 2016 News
….transfer letters issued to teachers, students
As part of the Ministry of Education’s plan to address the situation at the beleaguered Brickdam Secondary School, the ministry has decided to issue letters of transfer to the effect that teachers and students report to different
secondary institutions, starting today.
Yesterday, ministry officials held a meeting with the teachers at 13:00 hours when they informed them of the decision. Later in the day, at 16:30 hours, the same officials held a meeting at Saint Stanislaus College with the parents where they were then notified.
A parent speaking with this newspaper expressed that the plan may eventually lead to the break-up of the institution. She finds the move suspicious since only a few more weeks are left in the school term. They were told to uplift their letters of transfer today.
According to the information received, it had been suggested to the Ministry of Education that the students and staff be relocated to either Saint Stanislaus on Brickdam or Enterprise Primary School in D’Urban Backlands as a temporary solution, while a permanent fix is put in place.
Last Monday teachers of Brickdam Secondary stood firm in their position not to give instruction to the students of the institution. They had been engaged in a sit-in protest since last Friday against the life-threatening and unhealthy conditions which they along with students are forced to work in daily.
Sentiments expressed to Kaieteur News upon visiting the institution on Monday last alluded to the fact that the school has reached a point whereby it is no longer conducive for learning.
This publication was prevented from entering the building but was approached by a representative of the staff who thereafter expressed the collective grievances.
It was highlighted, that there are only two washrooms available for the staff of 25 to use. There are only four usable washrooms available for the some 400 students. This represents a ratio of 100 to one.
The individual declared the building unfit for learning since there is not a single classroom for teaching. Classes are reportedly separated by blackboards. The staff member commented that the washrooms designated for students are tainted with offensive odours and are clogged with sewage.
One staff member intimated that the school has no capacity for pre-vocational subjects. There is no place to accommodate dance, drama, music or physical education. The secondary school lacks proper scientific laboratories for students to conduct the required practical work for School Based Assessments.
Additionally this publication was told that the structure cannot safely host the students any longer since the building would shake whenever there is a general assembly or when the students are engaged in play within the building. The staff member stressed that their right as workers to a safe and healthy working environment is not being recognized by the relevant authorities.
Airing her concerns as well, a parent told this publication that her daughter had contracted a disease from using one of the washrooms in the school. She was forced to take her child to a private doctor to have the problem diagnosed and addressed. She communicated that the slightest rain would cause the already cramped compound to flood and the dirty water causes an itch on the child’s legs.
According to the staff member, this issue has a history dating back to 2011 when the then Minister of Education, Shaik Baksh, had announced that a new building was in the making for Brickdam Secondary and Central High.
Following that, in 2013, the staff of Brickdam had a meeting with the Chief Education Officer Olato Sam concerning similar complaints being raised now and nothing came out of it. Last year, the staff said that the Guyana Teachers’ Union had held a special press conference to highlight the problems facing Brickdam Secondary. The teachers were then told that there is a state-of-the-art institution being built to house both secondary institutions which to date has not been realized.
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