CH Reeves teachers continue to sit in

CH Reeves teachers continue to sit in

Teachers at C.H. Reeves continued to sit in on Monday with the hope that the Ministry of Education would address their concerns about a reported mold infestation at the high school.

Despite remediation efforts which were reportedly taken last week to fix the problem, the teachers told Eyewitness News that they want an official report that declares the school mold free.

When Eyewitness News visited the school yesterday, administrators refused to comment on the mold situation, and a teacher who spoke on the condition of anonymity said they will continue to sit in until they are satisfied with conditions at the school.

Director of Education Marcellus Taylor explained yesterday that a Public Analyst from the Department of Environmental Health Services inspected the School and it was found that there was no presence of mold at “unhealthy levels”.

“Mold was everywhere, so it is not a matter if mold is there,” he said.  It’s if it is considered to be unsafe or unhealthy.

“We did not detect mold at unhealthy levels in any of the rooms, but we still cleaned them because there was dirt, grime, mildew and some spots, but now that is all cleaned.”

Taylor said this cleaning took place last week Wednesday and Thursday when the students were not in school and teachers were asked to engage in record-keeping activities and setting exams.

Taylor said students were asked to return to the school last Friday because it was felt that the problem had been resolved.  He added, however, that for some reason the teachers felt as if they could not teach and their reasons given, he said, were not valid.

“Today, being Monday, all of the students were asked to return to the school and we had a full day of school. All the students were there, but the teachers withheld their labour again,” Taylor lamented.

The Education Director said there appears to be a “misunderstanding” with teachers at the school as it relates to the repair work that was done.

He said Ministry officials also met yesterday with The Bahamas Union of Teachers to make clear to them what had been done, such as cleaning the classrooms and repairing the roof.

“We are also in the process of fixing the ceiling where some leaking was and fixing some toilets that had water seepage, and really assigning the teachers to classrooms that were not even considered the classrooms with mold, but yet the teachers did not teach.

“Hopefully by the end of the day the Union is there [at the school] with the teachers and they look at the plans that Administration has designed for them to utilize the other rooms to ensure that students have classes all day tomorrow.

“We expect tomorrow that classes will go on, and from our point of view there is no reason why they should not.”

Asked what will happen if teachers do not report to work today (Tuesday), Taylor responded, “We will see what happens tomorrow.”