Ministry, teachers, parents reach BHS resolution

Parents at PTA meeting on Saturday night

ZIZ NEWSROOM, Basseterre, January 13, 2013: Parents and teachers of the Basseterre High School left two meetings on Saturday night satisfied with the results of an assessment report of the school.

The meetings were held for all parties to discuss the findings of the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) report.

The two meetings on Saturday night, ended months of head-butting between the Ministry of Education and the parents and teachers of the Basseterre High School.

Dozens of parents and teachers left with the impression that all health issues will soon be addressed.

These health concerns resulted in first to fourth form students being asked to stay at home while the fifth formers took their classes to the Old Girls School.

BHS Prinicpal Carlene Henry Morton

The first meeting was held between the parents and teachers of the school, where a number of questions were raised.

Among them was BHS Principal Carlene Henry Morton asked “Is the building salvageable, can we fix it?”

Then in the second meeting, parents and teachers sat down with the Committee of Reviewers of the CARIRI report to discuss the findings.

At this meeting, tension began to rise with some parents asking for an apology.

But at the end of the day, Chief Education Officer, Clarice Cotton says all parties were satisfied with the outcome.

SKTU President, Ron Collins

“We all agreed that we would follows the recommendations made by the CARIRI team and by the special team that was put in place to ensure that everything that is done is done to ensure that the school returns to normal,” she said

President of the St Kitts Teachers’ Union, Ron Collins called this a win for the parents and teachers.

“I think this has been a very important move and we feel somewhat vindicated throughout this entire process,” he said.

He says they are now willing to work with the ministry in getting the students back to school as soon as possible.

“I think in short it agreed with what our suspicions were. The ministry reversed its position and is now seeking to begin the process of working with the teachers and parents to resolve matters to get the children back to school as quickly as possible,” he said.

Chief Education Officer, Clarice Cotton

According to Cotton, a number of other suggestions were thrown out that will be followed.

“Other suggestions were made for the way forward to ensure that when the students of the Basseterre High School return to school they will be safe,” she said.

The CARIRI report stated that “the excessive build up of dust and mould were problematic and could have been the cause of symptoms being experienced by the students and staff of the school.”

The School’s official Facebook page announced on Sunday that, “there will be NO SCHOOL FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK, Monday 14th January, 2013 – Friday 18th January, 2013, for the 1st – 4th Formers.”

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