Parents staged a protest at the Entrepot Secondary School Thursday morning and teachers at the institution abandoned classes in the latest development over mold infestation at the learning institution.
“The Saint Lucia Teachers Union has been for a number of years highlighting the issues at the Entrepot Secondary School. What is happening there is not new – we have had a situation with asbestos over the years; with mold etc,” union President Julian Monrose, who was present at the school, told reporters.
Monrose recalled that for several years the Ministry of Education has promised that the Entrepot Secondary School would be a priority and it would give the school a new wing.
The SLTU President disclosed that parts of the learning institution were built since 1972.
“Of late we have had a situation of teachers and students falling sick on a daily basis. We have tried to encourage the ministry to do what is necessary to ensure that teachers’ health and children’s health are protected,” Monrose explained.
But he told reporters it seems that the ministry wants to do ‘piecemeal’ work at the school.
According to him, the ministry seems to be more interested in continuing school than in protecting the health of students.
“What sense does it make if you have children that are well educated but in their productive years they cannot work; they become a burden to their parents and the state? We need to educate them but we also need to protect their health,” Monrose declared
He said the SLTU has taken a position that it will no longer allow its members to enter the premises until the union is certain that the necessary work has been done.
Monrose said the union was happy that parents had come on board because they understand that not only teachers, but students are being affected.
“The teachers’ working conditions are the children’s learning conditions,” he asserted.
“Now that the parents are standing up – they are protesting; they are withholding the children from the school; the ministry I think will get the message that they are not only dealing with the teachers but they are dealing with the students and the parents also,” Monrose told reporters.
Late Thursday morning after the protesting parents had left, two police officers, one of them armed, were seen stationed at the school.