Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 8th 2015 Contents A6
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Undeterred by Sunday s fire, Stan-
dard Five pupils of the Fanny Village
Government Primary School, Point
Fortin, attended classes at the private
home of a former teacher yesterday.
Karen Lee Fai, who retired from the
school several years ago, accommo-
dated the 47 SEA pupils under her
home, while a ministerial team toured
the fire-ravaged school around mid-
Pupil Coleen Smith said since the
fire everyone was sad.
"We lost all our school books and
our projects. It really depressing to
come here and see the condition of
the classes," Smith said.
Jaydon Bailey, who is hoping to pass
for Presentation College, said he hoped
that the Education Ministry would
not send them out of the district.
"We already accustomed to here.
It will be strange for us to write the
exam in an unfamiliar environment,"
Sherron Joseph said they were
uncertain since the fire and now were
fearful their SEA performance would
be hampered by the trauma of the
However, the pupils were consoled
by acting Education Minister Fazal
Karim, who promised that when
school reopens on Monday all 305
students and 12 teachers will be
accommodated at the newly-built
Fanny Village Community Centre.
Karim and his team, including
Community Development Minister
Winston Gypsy Peters, Local Govern-
ment Minister Marlene Coudray and
Point Fortin MP Paula Gopee-Scoon,
toured the school yesterday.
Almost everything was burnt except
for a framed portrait of Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar which hung
on the wall of the principal s office.
After an hour-long meeting with
principal Debra Morrell-Charles and
PTA president Byron Cumberbatch,
the parents were told that nine class-
rooms would be accommodated at
the community centre.
Karim said: "We have also agreed
to establish some temporary air-con-
ditioned facilities to hold classes as
well as temporary washroom facilities."
He said the Educational Facilities
Company Ltd would immediately
begin partition works and adjustments
to the centre.
"The contractor has agreed to work
night and day to make sure that the
facility is ready for Monday," Karim
Once the fire report is complete,
Karim said a decision would be taken
by Education Minister Dr Tim
Gopeesingh about whether the old
school building would be demolished.
Both Gopee-Scoon and Morrell-
Charles said they were pleased with
the arrangements. Gopee-Scoon said
she also hoped the Government would
make arrangements to build a new
school for the pupils on the existing
site. Saying the fire was a blessing in
disguise, she said parents have been
waiting on a new school since 2008.
The owner of a
grocery in Curepe
died at hospital yes-
terday after being
attacked by two
bandits outside his
Police said Huang
Ji Hong, 35, the
owner of Happiness
the Southern Main
Road, was attacked
by the bandits
shortly after pulling
up outside the gro-
cery around 12.15
Ji Hong was
entering his business
place when he was
approached by a
man. He was carry-
ing a box filled with
cash and wrestled
with his attacker for
the box, police said.
then approached and
shot Ji Hong before
the two ran off with
some of the cash.
In the ensuing
melee as Ji Huang
was rushed to the
hospital, police said
money was taken by
a woman who may
not have been affil-
iated with the ban-
Insp Siewdath of
the St Joseph Police
Station is investigat-
ing the robbery
detectives are inves-
tigating Ji Hong s
murder. (Jensen La
After Fanny Village school fire...
drawn yesterday on
Crime Watch was
438148. If the num-
ber on the Xtra Foods
trolley at the back of
your yesterday s T&T
438148, you have
won $12,500 cash
and $500 in vouchers
from Xtra Foods.
You have until 3 pm
today to come to the
T&T Guardian s
office, 22-24 St Vin-
cent Street, Port-of-
Spain, with the news-
paper containing the
winning number and
Acting Education Minister Fazal
Karim, right, Community Development
Minister Winston Peters and Gender,
Youth and Child Development Minister
Marlene Coudray view the damage
done by the fire at the Fanny Village
Primary School during their visit
yesterday. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
Ex-teacher hosts SEA students
The contract for construction of
the Fanny Village Government
Primary School was awarded by the
People's National Movement (PNM)
government on July 17, 2008 to
ASHANA Civil and Mechanical
Based on the minutes of a
meeting held with the Minister of
Education and Philip Whiteman,
general manager of ASHANA, on
September 17, 2010, the original
cost of the project was $18 million
but this was later revised to $35
The minutes stated that EFCL
paid $5 million to ASHANA and
construction was expected to begin
within 30 days from the award of
the contract. The minutes said
ASHANA initially got four
foundation drawings and four
construction drawings but between
June and September 2009 ASHANA
got no drawings.
EFCL then terminated the contract
of the original consultant in
November 2009 and ASHANA
indicated that the project could take
as long at 47 months, rather than 15.
The project was never completed
and when the People's Partnership
got into office Gopee-Scoon said
promises were made that a new
contractor would be hired.
Cumberbatch said yesterday that
the new school building was
situated in a dam and the
foundation of the structure was
already cracking. In some places the
walls did not have sufficient steel.
He hoped the burnt out school
could be demolished and a new
school constructed there.
NEW SCHOOL STRUCTURE FLAWED
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