Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 5th 2016 Contents A5
Tuesday, January 5, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Pupils of the Penal Quinam Gov-
ernment Primary School met
locked gates when they turned up
for the re-opening of the new
school term yesterday.
Yesterday marked the second
anniversary of parents being asked
to have their children housed at the
Mendez Community Centre oppo-
site the school, while it was being
rebuilt. The original period for the
temporary relocation was six
With their bags and lunch kits
packed, pupils showed up at the
school, only to meet a locked gate
to the premises.
They were told to return to the
community centre which parents
said was hazardous to their chil-
Leading a protest in front the
school yesterday, Parents/Teachers
Association president, Maranda De
Verteuil-Mendoza, said Standards
One, Two and Second Year pupils
were housed in the community cen-
tre where there is a malfunctioning
air conditioning unit.
The other students are accom-
modated in two retrofitted shipping
containers on the same compound.
The school population is 89,
according to the De Verteuil-Men-
She said pupils could not use the
toilets because there were no doors,
the plumbing was defective, the
sewer system leaked and their school
was infested with rats, frogs and
This was confirmed by a neigh-
bour who said snakes have been
found in the drain at the centre while
the sewer leaked onto her property.
Last May, the centre was inspect-
ed by the St Patrick County Health
Adminstration who listed many haz-
ards and recommendations but she
said nothing was done.
In an interview, De Verteuil-Men-
doza said: "This is our two-year
anniversary since we were asked to
be housed over at the Mendez Com-
"Some of our children were
unduly placed in containers. We
were asked to let them be housed
there for six months, today is two
"Nobody in the ministerial
grounds are going to put their chil-
dren in situations like that. As soon
as the rain comes, we have a con-
stant issue with the overflowing of
the septic tank.
"While other schools have one
issue, we have been telling the Gov-
ernment and the people in charge
that we have a lot of issues."
She said they were told by EFCL
that the school was complete and
would be ready by yesterday but
with the locked gate, she said, par-
ents have decided to keep their chil-
dren away from the centre until the
school was ready.
Another parent, Pinky Charles,
said children often had to stay home
because of flooding at the school
and with her son home, she could
not go to work.
"This is stressful for me because
it is me alone. When he has to be
with me, I have to stay home from
work. We would like to get our new
school. It is taking too long" Charles
Education Ministry: Problem
schools repaired and opened
Education Minister Anthony Gar-
cia yesterday commended the Edu-
cation Facilities Company Ltd (EFCL)
for the successful reopening of all
schools after the Christmas break.
In a news release from the Edu-
cation Ministry yesterday, Garcia
confirmed that all primary and sec-
ondary schools were opened in a
state of readiness.
This included schools that were
highlighted in the media for struc-
tural problems, such as the Vistabella
Presbyterian Primary School, which
had a reported turnout of teachers
and 400 out of 475 students
The Santa Rosa Government Pri-
mary School resumed as well, fol-
lowing early dismissals last term due
to a malfunctioning water pump,
toilets and plumbing system.
He said due to roadblocks in La
Brea, attendance in 11 schools in La
Brea and Point Fortin was adversely
Garcia said: "I would like to thank
the Education Facilities Company
Limited, its contractors and officials
from the Ministry of Education who
have worked assiduously to ensure
that all schools were opened today."
Last week, the minister identified
several secondary schools which
were being used as Caribbean Sec-
ondary Education Certificate centres
and would resume normal opera-
in Penal school
Pupils of Nelson Street Girls' RC School play games on the re-opening of the
school term yesterday after their Christmas break. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
BACK TO SCHOOL
Doctors and nurses are forced to
work under deplorable and unsanitary
conditions at the nation s hospitals
and Health Minister Terrence Deyals-
ingh blames the last administration
for the dilemna.
Deyalsingh, who spoke to the T&T
Guardian briefly yesterday, said he was
aware of the conditions that existed at
all the nation s hospitals.
"The last administration is to blame
for that because they preferred to spend
over $1 billion on the Children s Hos-
pital, Couva, rather than to upgrade
and repair the existing hospitals,"
He said the roofs of both the Port-
of-Spain and San Fernando General
Hospitals were leaking.
"I know of the horrible and
deplorable conditions that exist," he
On Sunday, during a visit at the San
Fernando hospital, patients were seen
lying on recliner chairs and stretchers
throughout the wards because of a bed
shortage at the facility.
One patient, who was admitted to
Ward Six, was placed on a stretcher
for several hours before she was trans-
ferred to another ward, on a bed.
While another patient, also on Ward
Six, was placed on a leatherette recliner
chair indefinitely after surgery to remove
two of her toes. The surgery was done in
the doctor s examination room, staff said.
Patients and visitors to the hospital
on Sunday expressed disgust on seeing
the present conditions.
Speaking with the T&T Guardian,
one patient, who spoke on the condition
of anonymity, said that she was shocked
at the state of the hospital.
A visitor to the hospital said he was
disappointed to see what the patients
had to undergo.
Former minister of health, Dr Fuad
Khan, in response to Deyalsingh said
the Children s Hospital and the new
wing at the Women s Hospital in Mt
Hope could be opened as soon as pos-
He said with respect to the procure-
ment and distribution of pharmaceu-
ticals, he believed Deyalsingh had
reversed all systems that he (Khan) had
put in place to make the system operate
An autopsy on the woman
who died at the Scarborough
General Hospital on New Year s
Day after delivering her baby via
Caesarean section stated that she
bled to death.
The autopsy on the body of
Rose Gordon, 35, was done at the
Scarborough Hospital mortuary
yesterday by pathologist Dr
Gordon suffered from pre-
clampsia, died from hypovolemic
shock and her lungs collapsed,
the report stated.
In an interview with the T&T
Guardian the woman s sister,
Leslyn Gordon, said the family
still needed answers.
"My sister didn t have to die.
With all that is happening I want
to find out the real reason why
she died. I am not satisfied 100
per cent with the response from
the staff at the hospital. There are
still a lot of things we don t know.
We have plenty questions but no
answers," she said.
Leslyn admitted that Rose had
a uterine fibroid. She also said
further testing would be conduct-
ed on her lungs and uterus and
results would be released on Fri-
Gordon delivered her baby girl
at 34 weeks and five days into her
pregnancy. The baby remains in
the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
at the Scarborough General Hos-
pital. Sources say despite the baby
was born premature she is pro-
Contacted for a comment on
the issue, Chief Executive Officer
for the Tobago Regional Health
Authority Dr Nathaniel Duke, said
the family s wishes must be
respected and personal informa-
tion would not be divulged.
The Tobago Regional Health
Authority described Rose Gordon
as a high-risk patient in a press
release sent out on Sunday but
failed to give any additional details.
"The late mother who was a
high-risk patient, passed away
from complications after giving
birth despite concerted efforts by
her medical team to ensure the
safety of both the mother and
baby," the statement said.
Woman bled to death after C-section
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