Students of the displaced St. John’s Secondary School at Anna Catherina, West Coast Demerara are to take their demonstration to Georgetown today as they continue to demand a new school.
They students who will be accompanied by parents plan to “continue until they get an answer.” The school has been housed at the community centre at Den Amstel for the past two years.
The students started the protest on Wednesday to voice their concerns about the inconvenience they are facing. “They are determined to get a new school and do not want to continue at the centre,” Jaunice Grant, President of the Parent-Teachers’ Association told Stabroek News.The parents had lamented that the crammed classrooms are situated close to each other and the children are uncomfortable. Besides, they said, the centre does not have electricity, the toilets do not flush properly and are “smelly” and teachers are not allowed to display teaching aids.
On Friday, the students refused to enter their building while the parents prevented the teachers as well as regional education officials who were there as well from entering.
The students eventually returned home with their parents while the teachers left at around 1 pm to attend a meeting.
Grant told this newspaper that they have heard nothing from the regional officials or the Education Ministry so far on the issue.
Residents of the community had also come out in support of the students while declaring “we want our community centre back. Two years is long enough. This place was not built for a school; persons should go there for fun.”
Grant had told Stabroek News that the students had been relocated to that facility because of the deterioration of the upper flat of the building.
They were told that it would be a temporary arrangement but now, two years later they were still stuck there and have not been told anything about the rehabilitation of the school which has a population of over 200.
According to her, if the upper flat, which had started to cave in, is beyond repair then the authorities should dismantle it and extend the lower flat so the students can return as soon as possible.