The Muslim Primary School in Barrackpore, South Trinidad remained closed after officials of the Education Facilities Company Limited (EFCL) visited the 60-year-old school last week and deemed the 30 year old building unfit for occupation.
Members of the school’s Parent/Teachers Association locked the gates to the school last week, protesting dilapidated conditions and refusing suggestions by politicians that the building be repaired. The parents have demanded a new school building. Only pupils preparing for the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination were allowed to attend classes in a mosque located next door.
The Anjuman Sunnat-ul-Jamaat Association (ASJA) Primary School in Barrackpore will remain closed for another week while a location is found to house pupils, ASJA Board president Yacoob Ali said on Wednesday. He said, “We are trying to see what we can do. We are trying to arrange so the children can have their education uninterrupted”. Ali said the Board has written to the Ministry of Education on the rebuilding of the school and is awaiting a reply.
President of the school’s PTA Garvin Rajkumar, said parents were told that pupils would be relocated to a nearby mosque. “At this point in time arrangements are being made to make the facility adequate enough to house the children in order to rebuild the school in the shortest possible time,” said Rajkumar. He said “this is what we were clamouring for because if they are going to build over the school they would need to relocate the children because the building would need to be demolished”. Rajkumar said at the mosque “the toilet facility has to be upgraded a bit but it is an area that we will be able to work with on a temporary basis in order to get the school rebuilt. “We are happy with that,” he said.