Wisburg teachers stage sit-in to protest mosquito infestation

Teachers of the Wisburg Secondary School yesterday staged a sit-in exercise to protest an ongoing mosquito infestation.

The teachers were adamant that they will not be returning to the classrooms until the situation is properly rectified.

A teacher at the Wisburg Secondary told Stabroek News, “mosquitoes take over the school” and as a result the teachers were unable to teach. The teacher stated that this has been an ongoing situation and it is affecting the entire school population, which consists of over 40 teachers and more than 700 pupils. The teacher, who described the mosquitoes as “black and huge,” explained that when they arrived at the institution yesterday morning, a swarm of mosquitoes would cover the arm or leg of anyone who was stationary.

The teacher added that they were forced to stage a two-day sit in about two weeks ago over the same situation. There was also a similar situation last week, she said, while noting that the mosquitoes have been a problem “for quite a while.”

Stabroek News was told that persons contracted by the ministry previously visited and sprayed the school. This arrangement, however, has apparently stopped.

The teacher said that after yesterday’s protest, the head teacher informed regional education officials of the situation as the teachers have no authority to send students home. Some students remained while others went home.

Contacted last evening, Region Ten Chairman Sharma Solomon said that he was made aware of the situation but was in Georgetown on work-related duties. He said he was hoping to meet the teachers today with a view to having the issue sorted out. Solomon said that vector control throughout the region has been an issue.

He was unsure about the reasons for the infestation, since as far as he knew Wisburg Secondary is cleaned regularly. He stressed that a lot of schools throughout the region need to be fumigated, while noting that the region had asked that this be done before school reopened in January. “We want widespread fogging not only at Wisburg,” he stressed. Solomon explained that the Watooka Day School reopened it doors one week into the school term in order to have asbestos removed. He explained that the region had asked that the school be fogged but this was not done.

He added that the regional administration has received similar complaints about mosquito infestation at the New Silver City and the Harmony secondary schools.

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