With less than a month to go, the future of the elementary students is yet unsure. I drove pass the Holy Trinity School last evening and it is still the same. Well the same that is, except the debris, the saturated furniture and books strew around. I came here in November to join the cleanup, with the group led by Sgt. Mike Harris and Sean Charles. Reluctantly, after a series phone calls and levels of clearance, we were eventually “allowed” to clean the school and its environs.
Today, contractors occupy the buildings WE cleaned. They are living in the home economics wing, the main hall, and the lower school across the street. Last week through the news media, NODS announced that, several building would be erected in the yard of the Lower School (a smaller and constricted area, which housed K-Gr 1) for all the children of Holy Trinity. This is madness and no less than poor planning and foresight. I could address the pyscho-social and educational implications of overcrowding, but not today.
Is the main compound of Holy Trinity School off limit to students? I am suggesting that the main compound of HTS be used to house the students in September. The main hall has minimal damage but, can house 4 classrooms, The Home Economics block can house 3 classrooms. The Library and computer block can house administration and 2 classrooms The buildings they plan to put at lower school can be rebuilt where 4 classrooms were destroyed. The Lower school can house the4 classrooms that were previously there. This arrangement would provide 17 classrooms for the student to return. After all, they must be safe seeing that contractors have been living there for the past 9 months.
The MOEST has been eerily silent, with less than 1 month to go! What is going to happen to the children in September? Where will they attend school? When will furniture arrive? The community needs answers; two officials came to Barbuda last week but the specifics has not reach the public. A conversation with the community needs to happen now. What will happen when the bell rings in September? OH by the way, there is no bell. During the cleanup we found has no handle and the other has no tongue.
So where do the contractors go? Move them to the air-conditioned trailers at the Community Center, The soldiers can now go back to Antigua seeing that the “State of Emergency” is no longer in effect. The Police can move to their compound. Yes, they are still in fisheries buildings. Finally, our children can go back to school and at least, that would be a start. The new school? Still waiting for the ground to be broken.