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Garcia: Some setback as school reopens

Published: 
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Anthony Garcia

The Ministry of Education yesterday admitted to facing several challenges with the opening of the new school term which involved a bomb threat, fire, protest and foreign objects placed in the sewer system of some schools.

At a press conference yesterday at his Port-of-Spain office, Education Minister Anthony Garcia said although there was a smooth opening of all schools, they were faced with some setback leading up to and on the first day of the new school term.

The first setback involved a 10 am bomb threat at Asja Boys’ College in San Fernando which caused a major disruption in classes.

On the compound of the college, Asja Girls’ Primary School is housed. Students of both schools had to be evacuated at Skinner Park and Southern Academy for the Performing Arts.

The threat led to Fire Services being called in where they searched classes and the compound, but nothing was found, said Chief Education Officer Harrilal Seecharan.

Classes were later resumed.

Garcia said on Sunday a contractor undertaking work at the Diego Martin RC School found clothing stuffed in the sewer system of the toilets.

Some of the items were unrecognisable, he said.

However, Garcia said the contractor was able to unclog the system and the school was reopened yesterday.

Garcia alluded that the clogging could have been an act of sabotage, as “persons seemed hell bent on disrupting the smooth functioning of our schools. Unfortunately I can only describe them with deranged minds who are trying their best to prove us wrong.”

Another issue involved a fire at the San Juan South Secondary School on Saturday evening.

On Sunday, ministry officials visited the school and put measures in place to have its doors opened.

“That was one set back we experienced,” Garcia said, stating that the fire originated in the ceiling and could have been triggered by an electrical problem.

Outside the Princes Town Presbyterian Primary School No 1, Garcia said parents staged a protest demanding a new school for their children. Students of the school operate on a shift system with Princes Town Presbyterian Primary School No 2.

Garcia said his ministry could not build a new school at this time due to shortage of funds.

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