NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Having to endure a number of issues since the beginning of the school year, Minister of Education Jeffery Lloyd said on Thursday that CH Reeves teachers will be in new classrooms as of January 7, 2019.
Lloyd said The Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) filed a trade dispute two weeks ago, listing 20 outstanding issues; the main one being a mold infestation in classrooms.
“When school opens we will be ready to go [with] the 13 new classrooms,” Lloyd said. “A brand-new block of classrooms for CH Reeves will be ready to go.
“Two days ago, we received a temporary occupancy certificate so there was a problem with some leaking in an art room and that classroom has been moved.
“We are in continued conversation with the outstanding issues. We’re expecting to resolve every one of those issues,” Lloyd assured.
C.H. Reeves has been battling a mold problem since the start of the school year. Teachers at the school have led sit-ins on more than one occasion, to express their concern about the mold and other issues which made teaching hazardous.
Two weeks ago, BUT lead a strike vote with the hope of having their concerns addressed at the Junior High School. To date, however, a strike certificate has not been issued.
Despite the mold issue, Lloyd said a public analyst has declared that the environment at CH Reeves is safe for human habitation.
“The teachers insisted they wanted an independent assessor and we have brought that. We are satisfied that everything is going to be fine. When school opens we are going to be ready to go, the new 13 classroom block will be ready to go,” Lloyd said.
“A number of the items deal with the infrastructure, clogged bathrooms, ceiling fans not working, AC units not working. In our estimation [these are] matters that can easily be addressed and for some have already been addressed.”