ZIZ News — The Hon. Marcella Liburd has reconfirmed the government’s commitment to resolving the Basseterre High School issue.
Speaking Thursday night at the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party meeting in Trafalgar, Minister Liburd said the Labour Administration is doing everything possible and following all the recommendations which have been made to ensure the health and safety of the staff and students of BHS and to determine the cause of the illnesses reported.
“We have from day one tried to find out what the problem is. The health department was always on the job with our local health experts and then we brought in regional experts called CARIRI,” she said adding that “CARIRI did some tests, they made some recommendations, we tried to do some corrective work and CARIRI was brought back in after the matter continued to do an inspection last week. But after two CARIRI visits, they could not pinpoint where the problem lies, they could not say where the problem was coming from and so they recommended that we bring in another group to do some further tests which have also done. They recommended we bring in a group called CAREC and so we did this week between the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and myself speak to the people at CAREC and late yesterday we got word that yes, they understand the urgency of the matter and that they would come in and do further testing at the Basseterre High School,” the minister explained.
Liburd said an immediate priority is getting the children who attend BHS back in the classroom.
As a result, the search for suitable alternatives for housing classes until BHS is once again cleared for use is presently occurring.
“So our immediate issue was to get the students back out to school so the Education Department for the earlier part of this week were out looking at all the possible venues so that we can get our school children back out to school. We, as you know, are very concerned about our children and their education, we’re also concerned about their health and we would never compromise the health of our students or our teachers or anybody for that matter. So, the immediate concern was to get the students back out. So it boils down to two venues really that is AVEC and Washington Archibald High School and so we had a meeting with the principals of AVEC, the Washington Archibald High School and Basseterre High School and education officials. The meeting was organized where we planned a route forward…where we would hold meetings with all stakeholders including the PTAs, the union, the staff of Basseterre High, Washington Archibald High and the parents of the students attending those schools. So for the last two days we have been having those meetings, we had the last one this afternoon [Thursday May 1st] with the parents of the Washington Archibald High School and I want to say to you that I think we are well on our way to having this matter resolved.”
Minister Liburd extended her thanks to all stakeholders who have come together to ensure the swift resolution to the BHS matter.