NASSAU, BAHAMAS – President of the Bahamas Union of Teachers, Belinda Wilson, on Monday expressed that while she is mostly pleased with the efforts of the Ministry of Education to rectify the mold and rat infestation problem at the CH Reeves Junior High School, the union is still concerned about the results of a mold test that was to be conducted by a private analyst.
The union, Wilson said, did not accept the mold report that was issued by the Department of Environment Health.
“The Ministry of Education agreed to use a private company but they did not,” Wilson claimed yesterday.
“This is a matter that will be addressed at the Department of Labour next week.
“However we are pleased that the school was cleaned by Frank Hanna Cleaning Company and the janitresses.”
Last year, teachers at CH Reeves led sit-ins on more than one occasion, to express their concern about the mold and other issues which made teaching hazardous.
Yesterday, Wilson said teachers returned to campus, on the first official day back to school, and each of them assessed their rooms.
Wilson said a meeting was also held with teachers to discuss the way forward. She also admitted that the ministry of education did a good job with addressing most of the union’s concerns.
“The school was painted and the teachers were able to move into the new 11-classroom block,” Wilson said.
The union president said all of the furniture was not provided for the new classrooms, but the teachers and the union will give the ministry an opportunity to get the remainder of the desks and chairs.
“A pump for the water is to be installed today which should improve the water pressure for the restrooms,” Wilson reported.
“The science laboratory pipes were unclogged but they are still awaiting faucets.
“The roof is said to have been repaired, but the true test will come when it rains.
“The school was exterminated yesterday (Sunday) so the union expects the ministry of education and health to ensure that the dead rats and rodents would be properly disposed of.”
Wilson said following these measures, the teachers have in good faith returned to the classroom yesterday with the expectation that the ministry of education will complete the reminder of the work.
Wilson said BUT will be monitoring the situation daily.
“As president, I am very proud of the teachers who stood in solidarity to ensure that the school was ready and conducive for teaching and learning.
“In the future, I urge parents to join with the teachers and the union in our efforts to improve the teaching and learning environment.
“To all teachers throughout the Bahamas, I say welcome back to school.”