Padarath Slams Garcia on Princes Town East Secondary, Accuses Gov’t of Spite, Malice and Discrimination
Princes Town MP, Barry Padarath slammed Education Minister Anthony Garcia for the deplorable conditions that continue to exist at the Princes Town East Secondary School which now makes it unsuitable and unsafe for students to occupy.
Padarath stated that for the past seven months he has been raising the situation at the Princes Town East Secondary school with the Minister of Education to no avail or relief from the Ministry or EFCL. The MP states that he was disheartened but more so angry that despite his representation as well as the agitation by students and parents alike, no work has been done at the school. He stated that the electrical and air condition system for the laboratories have stopped working all together and the general infrastructure at several blocks of the school was structurally unsound.
The MP stated that he agreed with TUTTA’s position that the Minister and EFCL needed to accept responsibility for allowing the situation to reach the point of no return, where the students now have to be relocated to the neighboring Princes Town West Secondary school in some instances.
Padarath further added that in November of 2017 he raised the situation at the Princes Town East Secondary School in the Parliament during the question time and the Minister of Education, indicated after being questioned three times that the students were not being earmarked for any type of relocation be it partial or full and promised to look into the situation urgently.
The MP noted that it appeared that the Minister of Education was asleep at the wheel since on several occasions, when matters are raised about schools and the general well-being of the Education sector the Minister seems unaware of what is happening. The MP called on the Minister to take a more hands on approach to what was happening at the nation’s schools and stop burying his head in the sand, as the problems are real problems that will not simply go away. He reminded the Minister that the Government was responsible for providing a safe environment for students at the nation’s schools.
Padarath indicated that he together with the students and parents at the Princes Town East Secondary school will not accept any excuses, especially those being peddled by several government ministers that there is no money. Padarath reminded the government that their priorities have been on spending millions on the Tarouba stadium and other vanity projects instead of critical areas like the education and health sectors.
He added that, like, several other areas in the country there appears to be a direct attack on the schools in the Princes Town region. Padarath stated that the Princes Town Presbyterian No.1 School has been closed for the past 2 years with a promise to rebuild but no work has commenced and students are on shift at the Princes Town Presbyterian No. 2 School. He also pointed out that the Reform Hindu School also remained closed despite several protest action and the construction of the Buen Intento Early Childhood Centre remains abandoned after 60 percent completion.
The MP stated that these direct attacks on schools in the region demonstrated the type of governance that the PNM practices, the governance of discrimination, spite and malice. He vowed to keep up the struggle to ensure that his constituency gets the attention it deserves and that the children of Princes Town get the schools that they need.