It was brought to my attention that for over a month now the Internet service at the Sir Novelle Richards Academy has not been functioning properly and on most days; do not work at all.
The service has been poor all along but when construction started on a new science block on the school’s compound the situation went from bad to worse.
It is reported that the workers on the construction site; apparently while laying the foundation, dug up the fibre optic cable that was laid underground by APUA. The fibre optic cable as you should know provides fast Internet transmissibility.
Since the unfortunate event, the internet service went on a far journey just as the water situation on the island.
Reports are that APUA may have made some attempts to repair the damaged fibre optic lines but have been unsuccessful. More recent reports stated that the service provider is now reluctant to do any complete reparations to the damaged fibre optic cables since when the site was chosen for the construction of the science block on the school’s compound, APUA was not informed. Hence, the construction workers went ahead to get the foundation of the building underway; being completely unaware that the fibre optic internet cables were underground on the site.
The school which was usually operating on a classes’ rotation basis had to quickly transition into a full- turn out of all classes to the school every day. Outside sheds were quickly outfitted with side walls so as to allow for the accommodation of classes since remote learning was no longer possible with the absence of reliable internet service. These outdoor sheds are still exposed to the elements and therefore classes cannot be securely conducted under them when it rains.
The question is being asked as to when will APUA repair the damaged fibre optic cables so that some resemblance of reliable internet service can be restored to the school?
No planning whatsoever. A simple situation that could have been avoided if basic planning was done. However as in most cases, rash decisions are made as the public servants pursue the mad rush now to complete the science block before the general elections are called.
This school has suffered enough through the short duration of its existence. Being without any science laboratory for five years has certainly put the students at severe disadvantage as they prepare to take CSEC examinations in a few weeks.
The question is being asked once again: Does CXC know that the school is not properly furnished with the basic and essential mechanisms to facilitate effective teaching/learning activities ? No science lab and no library!
Has the local CXC registrar office visited the school to assess the situation so that a formal report can be made to the CXC headquarters in Barbados.
We expect our students to perform well at their examinations yet still we put roadblocks right from the starting point of their journey.
This ought not to be so.
What is more alarming is that the parents of the students of this school remain dormantly SILENT about these destructive situations. So obviously, they too have no concern whatsoever about their children’s academic development.
A call is going out to the minister of education, the director of education, board of education and APUA; to address these issues.
In any real democratic country, the public servants must go before the media and explain to the people what the conditions are in the departments they manage. This is not the case here in Antigua because it is backward and corrupt state.
The public servants are allowed to whatever and nobody calls on them to be accountable.
We demand better from our public servants. They work for the people and not for themselves.
Antiguans: wake up and start a journey into a real democratic and progressive state. For too long are you being slumbering in antiquity and corruption.
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