(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) Only seven per cent of schools across Trinidad were affected by last weekend’s devastating floods.
Speaking at a joint press conference at the Ministry of National Security in Port-of-Spain yesterday, Education Minister Anthony Garcia said 51 schools were directly or indirectly affected by the flooding which wreaked havoc across large areas of Trinidad.
Garcia said 22 schools – 12 primary, two secondary and eight early childhood care and education (ECCE) centres—fell within communities directly affected by flooding and remained closed today.
Twenty schools (ten primary, five secondary and five ECCEs) in close proximity of the flood-hit communities were also affected, as students and teachers had difficulties accessing them through flooded roads.
He also revealed that eight primary schools and one secondary school were still being used as emergency shelters.
In terms of turn out of students and teachers within the seven school districts, Garcia said he could only provide provisional figures as his staff were still compiling information.
In the Caroni district, which was amongst the worse hit, Garcia said primary schools had 52 per cent turnout of students and 73 per cent of teachers, while secondary schools had 32 per cent turnout of students and 54 per cent of teachers.
In the North Eastern district, there was 21 per cent student turnout and 59 per cent of teachers in secondary schools, while there was 44.2 per cent of students and 69.4 per cent of teachers at secondary schools in South East Trinidad.
The St Patrick district recorded the highest attendance numbers, with 83 per cent of students and teachers being present.
“That tells me that despite the hardships, teachers made every effort to come out to school so that they can minister to the students,” Garcia said.
He also said the statistics showed that Government’s decision not to shut down the country was correct.
“It was our responsibility to ensure our students were provided with quality education, which is their right. We are doing everything possible to ensure we did not shortchange our students,” he said.