Parents protest relocation of students in light of discovery of asbestos

first_imgParents of students attending the Christianburg/Wismar Secondary School (CWSS) in Linden on Monday protested the relocation of their children in light of allegations of an asbestos scare at the school.According to the protesting parents, a decision was taken to relocate the students to the Wisburg Secondary School following an “emergency” meeting between parents and officials attached to the Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) Department of Education last Friday.The parents, who stood outside the school along with their children, are holding out that they would not comply with the decision since they have not seen any evidence of the suspected asbestos inside the school.They noted, too, that they are against a decision for their children to attend school from 12:00h to 17:00h. Over 30 parents stood outside the school’s compound toSome of the parents protesting line on Mondayvent their frustration over the issue.At the scene, some parents were observed trying to prevent a vehicle from transporting school furniture to the Wisburg Secondary as a means of protest.“Nobody ain’t coming to show us no evidence of the asbestos…The timing, from 1 to 5 in the afternoon, 5 o’clock does done dark already… What will happen to these lil girl children? Even the boy children? They claiming the school got asbestos, but nobody ain’t coming to show us the evidence”, Dinah Skeete, a parent, noted.The parents are calling for the issue to receive urgent attention from the Education Ministry, as they alleged that even though there was some arrangement for buses to take the students to school, the specifics are unclear and they are uncertain of the arrangement.According to one of the parents, a lot of parents did not turn up to last Friday’s meeting since school sports were being kept, and officials should have called another meeting at the school on Monday to further update parents.Parents further noted that they were told by officials that the arrangement would be in place until January, 2019.Municipal Councillor Fern McKoy, who later arrived at the picket line, confirmed there was on Friday a meeting wherein it was noted that asbestos was in the school. However, she said the asbestos had been removed since 2001.“It cost millions of dollars to remove the asbestos from the school. I am so disappointed with the children (having to wait) out here, because they are being deprived of their education…they need to get an analyst to pinpoint the asbestos, because I’m a hundred percent sure that there is no asbestos in that school”, she noted.Efforts to contact the Regional Education Officer in relation to the issue on Monday proved futile. Other officials, when contacted, noted that they were not authorised to speak to the media.Shortly after, the Region 10 Administration declared that asbestos was discovered in the ceiling of the school prior to its reopening in August, but the Education Ministry had refuted the claims.Regional Chairman Renis Morian related that officials are aware that, in 2001 and 2002, a contract was handed out for the removal of asbestos from inside the school.However, he noted that it appeared as though some had been hidden, given the way asbestos had been placed.Nevertheless, the Education Ministry said an inquiry into the matter had revealed that the information was brought to the attention of the Regional Executive Officer of Region 10 on August 15, 2018.last_img read more

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