The Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training (METVT) will be carrying out remedial infrastructural work at the Lawrence T. Gay Primary during the Christmas break.
This would result, however, in the school being closed on Friday, December 4, to allow the time necessary to complete repairs.
Minister of Education, Santia Bradshaw, made this announcement on Saturday, after completing a walk-through of the school.
She was accompanied by the officials of her Ministry, representatives of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Barbados Union of Teachers, the principal of the school, the head of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), parents and teachers. She said the decision was taken after on-site discussions.
Minister Bradshaw said the school was set to reopen for face-to-face classes on Tuesday, December 1, as previously announced, as the recommendations in a recent report, relating to the septic tanks and grease traps, had been acted upon.
The Education Minister noted, however, a number of concerns were raised by teachers and their representative body about the building, and she assured them that her Ministry would address these matters.
“I’ve noticed in some of the classrooms we’ve had [some] leaking…and we don’t want to further inconvenience the teachers who’ve certainly been operating in this environment, and certainly the students during this period.
“So, we want to close school next Friday, December 4, to allow the Ministry of Education to put things in place to accelerate the civil works programme for this school during the Christmas period,” Minister Bradshaw explained.
Acknowledging the environmental concerns raised by parents and teachers, the Education Minister stressed that the Ministry remains committed to ensuring a sense of normalcy is returned to the Lawrence T. Gay Memorial School.
“We’re satisfied that we can reopen the school plant on Tuesday, with a view that we will close next Friday to allow teachers and students to return in January to a newly improved school plant during that three or four-week period,” she stated.
Minister Bradshaw also noted that a collective approach would be taken to assist students who may have fallen behind in their studies, using both online and face-to-face teaching methods.