Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 19th 2013 Contents A9
Thursday, September 19, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Rats, sewer problems
close two South schools
Three weeks after the school
term reopened, over 400 stu-
dents of Mafeking Govern-
ment Primary School,
Mayaro, have not had one full
day of classes, due to a series
of problems, including sewer
and electrical issues.
At Marabella Government
Primary School, 200 more stu-
dents have been forced to stay
away due to rat infestation.
For another time, members
of the Mafeking Government
Parent Teachers Association
(PTA), led by their president
Brian Francis, burnt tyres and
blocked the Naparima/Mayaro
Road yesterday to bring focus
to their plight.
However, police officers from
Sangre Grande removed parents
and debris to allow traffic to
Francis said children were
being forced to endure unac-
ceptable studying conditions.
He said the problems at the
school were not new and
promises were made to address
the sewer and electrical prob-
lems, overcrowding and a
shortage of furniture during
the August vacation but noth-
ing was done.
He said every day parents
sent their children to school
but after a few hours, classes
had to be dismissed.
At the Marabella Govern-
ment School, the cries were the
same as an infestation of rats
had once again forced its clo-
PTA president Ericson Ben-
jamine said the school was
closed since last Friday.
He said that followed a visit
by the San Fernando Health
Department who advised the
principal to get an exterminator
to deal with the problem.
Benjamine said up until yes-
terday that had not been done
and it was not likely the school
would be reopened on Monday.
He added: "Rat infestation
is not our only problem. This
school was built over 50 years
ago at a time when glass win-
dows were popular.
"At present, almost all of the
glass panes on the windows are
broken which is a hazard to the
students. The ceiling is falling
down, the toilets are horrible
and the area floods every time
A meeting will be held on
September 27 at the school s
compound to address the sit-
Workers employed at the
Ministry of Education s Finance
and Accounts Division, Port of
Spain, walked off the job yes-
terday claiming the worksite
was not safe.
Led by president of the Public
Services Association Watson
Duke some 200 clerical workers
gathered outside the Pembroke
Street building shortly after 9.30
"Work is officially suspended
for the day," said Duke as he
addressed the staff. "Sign the
register and leave. We are going
to do this every single day until
something changes," he said.
Duke said for years, workers
had complained about the
deplorable conditions they had
to work in, including the lack of
a proper fire escape in the event
of an emergency.
With the ministry s clerical
and administrative staff refusing
to work, Duke said the nation
teachers may face no pay until
workers were relocated to a more
modern and suitable workspace.
The staff were in charge of
payroll for schools throughout
T&T, Duke said.
He said a new ministry build-
ing on St Vincent Street, next
to the Industrial Court, should
be used to accommodate the
Duke said workers have been
falling ill on the job, due to the
dusty, mite-infested carpets,
leading to itching, runny eyes,
headaches and even bronchitis.
Duke also reported a rat and
cockroach infestation. He also
highlighted several structural
issues with the building, which
dates back to 1902.
"Unless we receive a com-
mitment from the ministry that
it is going to relocate all workers
to the new building by the end
of the year, or at least resume
construction on it immediately,
there will be no work taking
place," Duke added.
Teachers face no pay as clerical staff walk off job
Parents of children attending the Mafeking Government
Primary School, Mayaro, during their protest yesterday about
the poor school conditions.
Party (ILP) leader Jack
Warner says negotia-
tions for local govern-
ment allocations have
broken down between
the United National
Congress (UNC) and
the Congress of the
an ILP meeting at Gasparillo Junction on Tuesday
night, said talks between the two People s Part-
nership partners broke down on Monday night.
The talks centre around which regional cor-
porations the parties will be contesting for local
government elections on October 21.
Warner said: "There was no compromise. They
called an emergency meeting of the COP national
council for Thursday (today).
"The COP now split, the COP now saying the
UNC should fight all the seats. The COP wants
none, the COP wants none but the COP got
However, UNC deputy political leader Dr Roodal
Moonilal yesterday dismissed Warner s claim.
Moonilal, speaking with the T&T Guardian in
a telephone interview, said talks between both
parties were still in progress.
"He has no locus (place/standing). He knows
nothing about that. Talks are ongoing," Moonilal
COP chairman Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan,
when contacted yesterday, declined to respond
to Warner s statements.
"I am in Parliament. Can I say no comment?
I have no comment," she said.
Warner also trained his guns on Moonilal as
he said he had nothing to do with the Govern-
ment s rental of a building at Mucurapo Road,
which belongs to his son, Daryan.
Warner said it was under the former PNM
regime the rental process was initiated with his
son and Moonilal knew that.
He said when the issue arose he recused himself
from Cabinet discussions.
However, he pointed fingers at Moonilal, whom,
he said, did not do the same when the Housing
Minister s relatives were being considered before
Moonilal dismissed that. He said: "Mr Warner
is extremely desperate and I prefer not to comment
on any of his rantings.
"But I warn the nation it will get worse as we
further expose his misdeeds in the Government.
He presented himself to be Saint Jack of Chagua-
nas West but we will be exposing him in the
Parliament and on the streets."
Moonilal added: "Warner can seek to defend
himself by attacking my brother, my sister, family
and even the dog in the family but I will not get
caught up in that."
Jack on local govt elections:
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