Closure of Claxton Bay schools upsets MP

Two schools in Clax­ton Bay have been closed and MP for the area David Lee is not hap­py about it.

In a Face­book post yes­ter­day, Lee said since Oc­to­ber 25, 2019 the Union /Clax­ton Bay Sec­ondary School (UCB) has been closed due to leaky plumb­ing on the sec­ond floor.

 

“To this date, nei­ther the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion nor MTS could give con­cerned par­ents, teach­ers or stu­dents any prop­er cor­re­spon­dence or re­as­sur­ance when the prob­lem would be ad­dressed and the school re-opened for the free func­tion­ing of class­es,” Lee said.

He ex­plained that nu­mer­ous par­ents have reached out to him as the Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment “to ex­press their an­guish, con­cern and dis­dain for the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion.”

With the Caribbean Sec­ondary Ex­am­i­na­tions just a few months away, Lee said the sit­u­a­tion was to­tal­ly un­ac­cept­able.

He said par­ents and stu­dents of the Clax­ton Bay Ju­nior An­gli­can School were al­so await­ing in­for­ma­tion from the Min­istry af­ter their school was shut down in­def­i­nite­ly on 30 Sep­tem­ber by the Oc­cu­pa­tion­al Safe­ty and Health Agency.

 

Over the past few weeks, par­ents of the Clax­ton Bay Ju­nior An­gli­can School have been protest­ing over the gov­ern­ment’s fail­ure to re­lo­cate the chil­dren.

Fol­low­ing a meet­ing with the par­ents and the An­gli­can Board last month, Min­is­ter in the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion Dr Lovell Fran­cis said the Mara­bel­la South Sec­ondary School was an ide­al lo­ca­tion as it had an avail­able build­ing and was not too far from the ex­ist­ing school. He said trans­porta­tion will be pro­vid­ed for pupils.

Fran­cis said the build­ing will be out­fit­ted to fa­cil­i­tate class­es and should be ready with­in a few weeks.

How­ev­er, one par­ent, Megan Ross Charles said al­most a month has passed and the chil­dren were still at home.

“We are no longer ac­cept­ing Mara­bel­la South as an op­tion. We want the old school build­ing to be torn down and pre­fab­ri­cat­ed struc­ture built. We want our chil­dren back in school as soon as pos­si­ble,” she added.

The Min­is­ter said plans were al­ready in place to have the school torn down. He said pre­fab­ri­cat­ed build­ings will be set up over the Christ­mas hol­i­days.

On his Face­book page, Fran­cis said he ac­com­pa­nied a team from the Ed­u­ca­tion­al Fa­cil­i­ties Plan­ning and Pro­cure­ment Di­vi­sion and met with the par­ents and oth­er stake­hold­ers of the Clax­ton Bay Ju­nior (An­gli­can) School.

Fran­cis said they had a “very cor­dial, if pas­sion­ate dis­cus­sion.” He said, “At the end of the day we were able to achieve con­sen­sus on the way for­ward for the school in the short and in­ter­me­di­ate terms.

We are thank­ful for the pa­tience and un­der­stand­ing of the par­ents in par­tic­u­lar and free of the con­straints of the bud­get process the way clear for the MOE to dis­charge its du­ties.”

Reporter: Radhica De Silva

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