MP for Naparima condemns the Education Minister for misleading Parliament and the country about vacation repairs to the nation’s schools, specifically, the Fifth Company Baptist Primary School located in Moruga/Tableland, the constituency of junior Minister in the Ministry of Education Dr. Lovell Francis.
He is calling on both Ministers Anthony Garcia and Lovell Francis to come clean on school repairs.
On 28th June 2017, in response to a question by Oropouche West MP Vidia Gayadeen-Gopeesingh, Minister Garcia informed Parliament that rehabilitation work at the Fifth Company School would be done during the 2017 July/August vacation. He stressed that “focus will be on repairs to toilets, replacement of windows and burglar proofing and improvement and strengthening of hand rails and the protective metal enclosures on stairwells.”
The Education Facilities Co Ltd (EFCL) further assured the nation on Friday 18th August that school repairs are being done and that “the most critical works are being done first.”
To date Monday 21st August, based on a site visit there are no visible signs of work, critical or otherwise, having been done during this vacation at the Fifth Company Baptist School. There is also no electricity in the guard booth.
Additionally, Cowen Hamilton Secondary, also in the constituency of Moruga/Tableland, the only Baptist secondary school in the country, remains without a dedicated auditorium, or a gymnasium, or a modern computer room, or a well-equipped permanent library. Students have to assemble out in the rain.
Over 100 students from the Naparima constituency attend Cowen Hamilton.
Likewise, the proposed Barrackpore ASJA Primary School remains a nonstarter. This after an undertaking was given by Minister Garcia in Parliament on 20th January 2016 that the school would be completed within ten months from that date.
“As my colleague, MP for Caroni East and Opposition Shadow for Education noted Minster Garcia’s statements on these issues are worthless and insincere; we have the very real examples of Fifth Company Baptist, Cowen Hamilton and Barrackpore ASJA Primary.”