Garcia assures school woes will be fixed

Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion An­tho­ny Gar­cia said yes­ter­day he is hop­ing to get a re­port from the Min­istry of Works be­fore the end of this week on the di­lap­i­dat­ed main build­ing of the Fyz­abad An­gli­can Sec­ondary school, in or­der to com­mis­sion work on the school’s cen­tral block.

He said de­pend­ing on what the re­ports con­clud­ed, class­es for the school may be moved to a lo­ca­tion close to Her­itage Pe­tro­le­um Com­pa­ny Lim­it­ed.

 

Re­ply­ing to Op­po­si­tion queries in Par­lia­ment re­gard­ing the school—which housed 420 stu­dents—Gar­cia said the school was in­spect­ed by Min­istry of­fi­cials in Au­gust and it was de­ter­mined that the lev­el of de­te­ri­o­ra­tion re­quired an ex­pert as­sess­ment of the build­ing’s con­di­tions.

He said con­cerns were main­ly fo­cused on the up­per floor.

Gar­cia said the min­istry ap­proached the Works Min­istry’s Chief De­sign of­fi­cer to do a struc­tur­al eval­u­a­tion and make rec­om­men­da­tions,

“The Min­istry is await­ing the re­port to ar­rive at the ap­pro­pri­ate re­me­di­al mea­sures to be tak­en. Works will be un­der­tak­en as soon as the re­port is sub­mit­ted,” he added

As to whether or not the school might be tem­porar­i­ly housed at a va­cant build­ing next door to the Her­itage Pe­tro­le­um Com­pa­ny Ltd in Fyz­abad, Gar­cia said it all de­pends on the re­port from the Min­istry of Works. He said if the re­port states the school’s cen­tral block is un­suit­able, “Then, we’ll look at al­ter­na­tives...”

Mean­while, Gar­cia al­so said Cou­va West Sec­ondary school has been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ma­jor prob­lems due to low wa­ter pres­sure as well as nu­mer­ous un­der­ground leaks. School class­es have been dis­missed ear­ly since last Tues­day due to in­suf­fi­cient wa­ter on the com­pound.

Teach­ers had raised health and safe­ty con­cerns.

Gar­cia said the prob­lem was due to poor work done by a pre­vi­ous con­trac­tor.

Gar­cia said ex­ten­sive plumb­ing re­ports - in­clud­ing those on four ma­jor leaks- were done in the va­ca­tion pe­ri­od and up to last Sun­day.

Cou­va South MP Rudri­nath In­dars­ingh who raised ques­tions about the school said class­es were dis­missed at 10 am yes­ter­day be­cause yet an­oth­er leak was dis­cov­ered.

Gar­cia said Wasa of­fi­cials and the MTS con­trac­tor han­dling the project met at the school yes­ter­day to re­solve the low wa­ter pres­sure is­sue which has been im­pact­ing the wa­ter sup­ply of wa­ter.

The min­is­ter ex­plained that pend­ing com­ple­tion of tests, it was ex­pect­ed nor­mal school op­er­a­tions may re­sume to­day (Tues­day).

Reporter: Gail Alexander

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