Irate parents lead protest on school’s campus
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – After reports of mould and other issues surfaced at the C.W. Sawyer Primary School earlier this week, the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced on Wednesday that the school will be closed today and on Friday.
A statement released from MOE asked teachers to report to the Learning Resources Section of the Ministry of Education during the usual school hours, and the Ministry apologized for any inconvenience caused.
Meanwhile Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) president Belinda Wilson declared yesterday that she is prepared to go to the International Labor Organization (ILO) or Amnesty International if working conditions for teachers around the country are not improved.
“Everyone should be able to work in a clean and comfortable environment that is not hazardous to their health,” Wilson said.
Parents of students at the C.W. Sawyer Primary School protested outside of the school’s grounds on Wednesday, following reports of mold, rodent infestation and structural concerns. Many of them said that conditions at the school have made their children sick and they are refusing to send their children to school until the matter is addressed.
“My daughter is constantly scratching her skin and breaking out. I had her to the doctor several times and I thought it was eczema. We recently learned that it was a result of the mould,” said Tammy Bannister, a mother of two.
“They had a special called meeting to say that there is mould, there is a pipe problem where feces is coming up from the ground and the stairs are coming away from the building.”
Another parent, Kevin Archer reported to Eyewitness News Online that the building was reportedly condemned several years ago and he along with other parents are demanding that report from the Ministry of Works.
“This isn’t right. We are calling on the Prime Minister, the Education Minister and the Minister of Works to fix this school, now! Our children’s lives should be protected.”
Education Minister Jeff Lloyd told reporters yesterday that environmental testing at the school is ongoing as officials work to rectify the reported concerns.
A statement from the Ministry of Education released late Wednesday afternoon confirmed that the school will remain closed today and Friday.