The Bonair government school, which was temporarily closed for repairs, has been relocated to temporary facilities as a safety precaution to teachers and students.
While undergoing repairs, the roof of the school was sprayed with a special chemical used to prevent bat infestation.
However, speculation is rife that the chemical used has had some kind of health effect on both teachers and students.
Speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet Press Briefing at the Ministerial Complex last Tuesday, Minister of Education, Anthony Boatswain, said that as a result of this, the school is now operating out of four temporary locations.
“It has been reported that the chemical that was used is creating some negative side effects in terms of irritation, coughing on all those students and teachers and therefore it was recommended that the students should not return to the school but to be relocated to temporary facilities”, he told reporters.
“…As a matter of fact, as of now, the students are in four temporary facilities pending the completion of the infrastructure work as well as while we await the final report as to exactly what is happening with regards to the chemical that was used to spray the ply – that is the toxicology report from the Ministry of Health,” he said.
Minister Boatswain announced that a meeting was held involving himself, the Chief Education Officer, and the Parliamentary Representative for St. Mark, Clarice Modeste, with the teachers last Thursday to determine the direction that should be taken in relation to the health of the teachers and students.
“The general feeling is that the teachers are not comfortable returning to the school, with or without the toxicology report.
Therefore, in the interest of the long-term health and welfare of our students and teachers, we have taken the decision in the Ministry of Education that the affected areas should be removed in its entirety”, he said.
“…The BNTF, that is the Basic Needs Trust Fund has agreed to undertake the necessary replacement, as a matter of fact they are going to finance the cost of the replacement and we are hoping that it would take about two to three weeks maximum to do the repairs,” he said.
The Education Minister is hopeful, that in the next school term everything will be back to normal to add comfort and rest to the minds of teachers and students.