Sewage forces school to close
Almost 750 students of the Glen Stuart Primary School in Maggotty, St Elizabeth, have been forced to continue their studies at different facilities after the institution was ordered closed by the Ministry of Health.
"The health authorities closed the school because there is a sewage issue, which, if not controlled, could have serious impact on the health of the persons who use the facility. So it was closed for that situation to be addressed," the regional director for Region Five of the Ministry of Education, Nadine Leachman, told THE STAR.
This decision was taken after a river which flows adjacent to the educational institution was found to contain sewage that would seep on to sections of the school.
"There is a river running behind the school, and that is where the issue is. The sewage would run on to the playing field and in that area where they have the river, and that would contribute to health issues," she said.
However, Leachman noted that a timeline could not be provided for when classes would resume at Glen Stuart, which was closed on September 18.
"There is an engineer there doing his assessment and doing designs, and the health authorities would definitely have to be satisfied with whatever is done, and that we won't have a reoccurrence that would cause the school to be closed again," she explained.
In the meantime, the students of Glen Stuart Primary are being accommodated in alternative establishments such as schools and churches.
She said students were placed at the various institutions depending on where they live, and the availability of space.
"Where there are spaces in schools, the teachers are with them. They are not necessarily divided based on their class. They are from many communities because it is a big school, so they are divided based on where they live and their grades. So, they won't necessarily have their teachers, but they will have teachers from the various grades," she said.
Leachman noted that once the situation is rectified, the students will return to Glen Stuart.
Meanwhile, she said that parents appreciate the efforts being made to correct the problem, while their children continue their studies at other institutions.