– Patentia Secondary PTA says environment insanitary
Less than one month into the new school term, students at the Patentia Secondary School staged a protest against the deplorable state of the school, pointing to the bat infested conditions which they have faced over the last several months.
According to the concerned students and teachers, the West Bank Demerara school’s protest action, which was staged early Thursday morning, stemmed from the delay of the Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) Regional Democratic Council and the Education Ministry in addressing the many concerns raised by the school’s administration.
Representatives from the Parent Teacher Association padlocked the gates and the students stood in unity to vent their frustrations.
“We need a proper environment,” stated one student.
“The toilet don’t flush, it don’t work, it always dirty,” remarked another.
This news publication was also informed that there were a myriad of other issues plaguing the institution; including stagnant water under the wooden section of the school, overflowing garbage and a lack of updated textbooks – these all hamper the delivery of education.
According to reports, the Education Ministry was informed of the bat situation over a year ago and the roof was torn down, but due to excess heat, the bats returned. This newspaper was also told Grade Nine students were especially affected by the conditions and the stench.
Additionally, work was done by the Education Ministry to remove termites, but this situation has not improved as the termites have returned.
One parent, who is familiar with the school, informed this publication that the bat waste has affected the students, many of whom have suffered from skin rashes and asthma like conditions which have prevented them from attending classes.
Reports are that around 09:30h on Thursday morning, the Regional Education Officer instructed the school’s headmistress to have the padlocks removed and allow the students to sit in classes under a shift system.
This publication was later told that the protest would end once the Ministry addresses the mounting problems at the school.