Schools Latest: Govt Issues Statement

Teachers protest outside Uriah McPhee Primary School.

Teachers protest outside Uriah McPhee Primary School.


Belinda Wilson, Bahamas Union of Teachers president


FOR RE-OPENING - The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology wishes to advise teachers, and parents/guardians of students attending the Stephen Dillett Primary and Uriah McPhee Primary Schools that the Ministry of The Environment has assessed the clean-up of the debris at the respective schools and presented a report that approves them for re-opening.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology believes that it is in the best interest for all parties that the schools be opened for normal operations on Wednesday, 18th September, 2013 at the usual time.  Teachers, parents and school board members are invited to visit the schools on Wednesday, 18th September, 2013 to inspect the premises.  Again, the Ministry thanks all affected for their cooperation and patience in these matters and will take the necessary steps to ensure that students are not disadvantaged by the disruption to the education.

10.30AM UPDATE: Teachers are outside of the Uriah McPhee school this morning protesting against the conditions at the school. According to BUT president Belinda Wilson, teachers will not be holding classes at the school today as fumes from the ongoing construction work are too much for her members to handle. No students showed up at the school.

Also, at Stephen Dillett, Mrs Wilson said teachers are not teaching today as they are awaiting environmental specialists to inspect the building for fibreglass, which she said poses a health risk to students and teachers alike.

AS EDUCATION officials and the teachers union continue to wrangle over the state of two primary schools in New Providence, it was unclear yesterday if either facility would open today.

Despite assurances from Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald that they were given the go-ahead to resume classes – prompting officials to advise teachers to return to school at Stephen Dillet, Bahamas Union of Teachers President Belinda Wilson said other issues came up which posed health concerns.

Speaking to The Tribune last evening, Ms Wilson said the union was still not pleased with the general state of Stephen Dillet which led to teachers leaving the facility shortly after noon. At Uriah McPhee, there has been no school either as the air conditioning unit is still not functioning.

She said: “When I got there (Stephen Dillet) only about 20 children were there and the water was off. They say the pipe was broken. The air condition people are still working and we discovered there are fibre glass in the building. Fibre glass causes lung cancer and skin rashes, and a variety of health hazards. Teachers left at 12:30 today.

“We are advising our teachers not to go into the building until further notice. We even discussed alternative sites to have classes.

“Uriah is closed because we are not pleased with how the air condition unit is functioning. We are waiting for a report from the ministry of education but we don’t expect school to be opened tomorrow.”

Earlier, Mr Fitzgerald had said he was advised that all was well at Stephen Dillet.

He said: “We got the clearance from the Ministry of Environment yesterday on the air quality and the teachers and students were asked to report to work today (Tuesday) so I’m not aware of any other concerns. I don’t know what concerns she (Belinda Wilson) will have. We were aware of the work that needed to be done, we had the work completed.

“Uriah McPhee, when the ministry went there they said there are still some issues that they are not satisfied with with regard to the cleaning and removal of the mould and so we did not open the school there and those works are continuing today and the ministry of environment will monitor and we will not put teachers or kids back in that school until we get clearance to do so.”


leonardlaing 7 years ago

Why is it that every year all government schools are face with these challenges every year? Where are the bright minds, no wonder why the exam results are the way they are? Use you brain Minister...


john33xyz 7 years ago

The kids don't need school anyhow. There are no jobs waiting for them when they graduate in 10 years.

If the parents would just keep them home and teach them how to use a mop and bucket they MIGHT get a job with a foreign-owned hotel when they grow up in our "INDEPENDENT" country.

Every July 10th it is just so amazing to see all the people stupidly celebrating "independence". If they could only GROW UP and stop coming out to these ridiculous events it might show the Government that the people are not buying their lies anymore. But no, there's free food and drinks there - so we'll sell out our children to get summa-dat.

The article shows just ONE of the many results of that choice. Free food? or a real country. The choice is made by everyone every year.


proudloudandfnm 7 years ago

Tribune web staff off today hey? Where's the update? You know we don't get the Tribune in Freeport right? Hello!?!? Where's today's update?


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