Sunday 27 September, 2020

Five schools to remain closed following earthquake

With the new school year set to begin on Monday, hundreds of pupils will have to remain at home as their schools have been deemed unsafe following the magnitude 6.9 earthquake that rocked the country on August 21.

A total of 66 schools have been flagged for attention, Education Minister Garcia has said.

Out of these, five schools will not reopen on Monday as they pose an immediate danger. 

These are the Curepe Anglican Primary School, the Forest Reserve Anglican Primary School, the Santa Monica RC Primary School, the Dayanand Memorial Vedic Primary School and the St Paul’s Anglican Primary School. 

“According to the structural engineers, those schools pose a danger to those who occupy the premises. We have no alternative but to go by the advice of the structural engineers,” Garcia said.

Parents of students attending these schools are advised to keep their children at home until further notice.

Garcia stressed that the delay in reopening these schools was strictly due to earthquake-related damages and not due to any fault of the Ministry.

A number of other schools were also damaged but not in a way that would hamper their reopening on Monday, Garcia said.

These include St Benedict’s College, Holy Faith Convent Penal, Holy Name Convent Point Fortin, Diego Martin North Secondary School, Diego Martin Girls RC Primary School, Point Cumana Government Primary School, Nipal Presbyterian Primary School and St Phillips Government Primary School. 

The La Romaine Secondary School will also remain closed. This is the only school Garcia said would not reopen on time due to non-earthquake related issues.

Extensive electrical work is being carried out at this school, he explained.

Garcia said when the school year begins, more schools might report problems as the earthquake may have resulted in sewer problems and other issues not immediately visible.

He assured that the Ministry is working assiduously to conduct the necessary repairs as soon as possible so the displaced students will not be unduly disadvantaged.

Chief Education Officer Harrilal Seecharan said in the event repairs could not be conducted in a timely manner, arrangements would be made to temporarily house students elsewhere.




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