Safety issues at Point Fortin East Secondary still not addressed

Monday, January 13, 2020 - 12:30

The Parent-Teacher Association for the Point Fortin East Secondary School is threatening to take action, if something is not done about conditions at the school, which it says are dangers to students and teachers, alike.

The school’s PTA wants to know whether the Ministry—and by extension the Minister of Education—will be addressing the many safety issues at Point Fortin East Secondary.

In a statement issued by the PTA this morning, PTA president Tafara Lewis says the Ministry of Education has not communicated on what will be happening with the school. Ms Lewis says the Principal was contacted on Thursday morning, but there has been no word since, as to whether any officials from the Ministry will be visiting the school.

The PTA president reports that there was a small electrical fire in the administration office, this morning. She notes that it happened because of the faulty electrical system at the school, an issue which was identified in an OSHA Report from 2019, as well as in a report by the PTA.

According to the statement from the PTA officials, an inspection was conducted by OSHA in April 2019, which was a re-inspection to confirm whether the findings from the first inspection conducted in February 2019, were addressed.

The PTA officials say the April 2019 Report stated that only 3% of the findings were addressed at that time. This report states that the outstanding items should be addressed and a report on the status of the items should be submitted to the OSH Agency within 21 working days upon receipt of the letter. The letter is dated July 29th 2019 and the school said it was received only last week.

The letter also states that the facility would be re-inspected within the next three months which should have been in October 2020 (no re-inspection done to date).

The PTA says it also conducted an inspection of the school in September 2019 and compiled its own report which corroborates most of the findings in the OSHA Report, although it was unable to cover all areas of the school at that visit.

The school’s PTA said some of the issues identified in the reports include:

1. Damaged and missing ceiling tiles in some classrooms such as: woodworking & machine shops, Blocks C, D, K and the auditorium. Sections of the ceiling missing on Blocks M and P.

2. Water stains on the ceiling inside some of the rooms such as Block P Textiles, Blocks C, D and the Security lunch room.

3. Guttering sections of Blocks O & P not secured.

4. No extractor fans for fumes and smoke generated by the stoves (home economics)

5. Poor housekeeping in the following areas: Technical drawing, Woodworking, Machine Shop, Farm, computer lab, block K and administrative office. On Thursday 9th January 2020 members of the PTA executive figurehead areas and evidence of poor housekeeping was seen.

6. Approximately 10 chairs in the Technical drawing room have no back rests (this was still the same as at 9th January 2020)

7. The fume hood in the Chemistry lab was in disrepair which prevents proper containment and removal of vapours, gases and fumes in the lab.

8. The extractor fans for the poultry and rabbit pens are not working. The PTA warns this is a health hazard due to the accumulation of dust and odours.

9. Extensive damage to the ceiling of Block D. Failure to address can lead to the ceiling collapsing causing injury to students and teachers. The PTA says this block remains in the same condition to date.


Story by NEWS DESK