Officials from the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training and the Ministry of Health and Wellness tour the Blackman and Gollop Primary School this morning. The school is et to reopen later this month. (Photo: Media Resource Department)

The Blackman and Gollop Primary School is set to welcome students of Classes Three and Four, when the Trinity Term starts on Tuesday, April 20.

It was officially handed over to the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training (METVT) today, after being decommissioned as an isolation centre for COVID-19 patients by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. The school was being utilised in this capacity from January 3 to March 19 of this year.

Officials from both ministries, along with representatives of the teaching staff and parent-teacher association toured the compound, which was thoroughly sanitised.

According to Supervisor of Environmental Services for Isolation Facilities, Romel Murphy, the “clean first and disinfect after” process was carried out in accordance with the protocols of the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

“We would’ve used Clorox 1:10 solution as stated in the policy of the Ministry of Health. [This was] done room by room. We cleaned from high to low and we ensured we did the process twice.

“We did a first cleaning, then we came back and did a power washing of the entire school and then disinfected. So for those who may have concerns, let me assure you that the Housekeeping Department would’ve done a fantastic job to ensure that the school is clean, safe and ready to be handed over to the Ministry of Education,” Mr. Murphy assured.

Acting Chief Education Officer, Joy Adamson, said the METVT was “very pleased” with the work done to ensure students and school staff at the Staple Grove, Christ Church institution were returning to a safe environment. 

“When we got the call in January that [the Ministry of Health] needed the school, we said sure, and we put things in place. Luckily, we were working online, so it didn’t displace the children at that particular point in time, but we’re getting it back at a time when we’re looking to get back into school,” Mrs. Adamson stated, noting that the Barbados Defence Force was also assisting teachers with setting up the classrooms.

Meanwhile, Acting Chief Operations Officer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Louise Bobb, thanked the Ministry of Education, and by extension the teachers, parents and students of Blackman and Gollop Primary for being “selfless” in allowing the school to be utilised again as isolation centre in the face of this “unpredictable” viral illness.

Ms. Bobb noted that in addition to decontaminating the school, health authorities made sure it was handed back over to the Ministry of Education in “impeccable condition”.

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