Update: Education Ministry ‘shuts down’ dilapidated Brickdam secondary

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Following a ‘sit in’ by teachers at the Brickdam Secondary School over the lack of several amenities, students were today sent home by officials from the Ministry of Education.

 

Newsroom visited the Secondary School where students were seen in front of the building, playing, conversing and purchasing snacks from the food vendors.

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After inquiring from a senior student at the school, the news team was told that ministry officials visited the school and informed that it would be closed and students were immediately sent home; a decision which was never told to them before.

 

The students related that they were only told that their parents would be contacted on the matter.

 

Teachers at the school began a ‘sit in’ on June 10, over conditions they said has been prevalent for years. The teachers complained of the classrooms being unsuitable for teaching, noting that they are too congested and highlighted the lack of adequate washroom facilities, recreational facility or canteen for students and improper staffroom for teachers.

 

Efforts to contact the Chief Executive Officer of the Education Ministry, Olato Sam and the Director of the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) proved futile since both persons were at meetings.

 

However, a state media report disclosed that the ministry following a meeting with the, TSC has taken the decision to close down the school. The report also noted that teachers will be seconded to regions three and four and the students would be placed in schools in close proximity to their homes.

 

The Chief Education Officer was also quoted as saying that the matter was never raised with the head mistress.

 

Problems faced at the school were previously raised with the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) administration.

 

A suggestion was made in 2012 to merge the school with the Central High School.

 

The Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) had raised concerns with the state of several schools around the city, ranging from limited recreational spaces to the possibility of a fire hazard situation.

 

In 2015, Former Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, during a press conference stated that the schools were identified to be moved. The aim was to get a state-of-the-art facility; however funding was mentioned to be an issue.

 

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