Parents of students attending the Mortice Primary and Nursery Schools in Mahaicony, Region Five ((Mahaica-Berbice) are still outraged as their children continue to be educated under deplorable conditions.
On a visit to the schools on Thursday, Guyana Times discovered that electrical wires and light sockets were still uncovered and dangling, while the toilet facilities of both schools remained non-functional.
This publication was also shown evidence of structural damage to various sections of the building, which occurred some weeks ago. One
individual with knowledge of this situation, who preferred to remain anonymous, related that the return of the May/June rains coupled with recent flooding caused stagnant water to prevail in the vacant lot to the east of the school. The man explained that this caused erosion of the soil and, as such, sections of the building shifted.
“The water that is so close to the building actually pulled the soil [and] the whole back section [and beam] moved an inch and a half to 2 inches,” he said.
Guyana Times also witnessed that the canteen facilities had dangling wires, making it hazardous for food preparation or consumption.
The top floor of the building is principally the Primary School, while the bottom was designed to house nursery students. Now both departments are stationed on the same upper flat after a bat infestation caused a section of the nursery school’s ceiling to collapse. It was reported that the pest control department had removed the internal ceiling of the school after a section “caved in” owing to the growing bat problem. Bat dung and dead bats were removed from the school over a month ago.
Guyana Times had been told that some of the parents complained of the lingering scent, which drove them to clean up, as they were concerned about the children’s health. Many students missed classes as parents opted not to send them to school.
The stench and unsanitary conditions led teachers to take the 23 pupils outside where they have classes and even meals. This area is not enclosed and the young pupils were exposed to the elements.
After a May 7 report by this newspaper, a team of regional officials met with stakeholders on Monday and parents were reassured that rehabilitation would commence Wednesday (May 11). However, this newspaper was there on Thursday (May 12) and no sign of rehabilitation was evident.
Running water at the school is also almost non-existent and the two black tanks in the yard were almost empty. Guyana Times had also reported that cleaners had to appeal to the neighbours constantly for water to flush toilets. These cleaners have been fetching the water themselves.
The officials who had visited the schools on Monday included the Regional Chairman, the Regional Executive Officer, Regional Education Officer and an Engineer who was on site to assess the rehabilitation works.