The Ministry of Education on Tuesday morning decided to close down the dilapidated Brickdam Secondary school, several days after teachers staged a sit in to protest the conditions under which they work.
A well-placed source has revealed to the Guyana Chronicle that a meeting was held this morning with officials from the Education Ministry and the Teaching Service Commission (TSC), where the decision was made.
This newspaper understands that the teachers will be seconded to Regions 3, 4 and other schools in Georgetown, while the students will be placed in schools in close proximity to their homes.
The Guyana Chronicle had reported on Saturday June 11 that approximately 20 teachers downed tools, sat outside of the learning institution and refused to enter the building over a number of issues, including the lack of adequate toilet facilities, lack of space and claims of fire hazards.
According to the teachers, they made several complaints to the relevant authorities at the Ministry of Education; however their complaints seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
One teacher, who preferred to remain anonymous, had told this newspaper that they are fed up with the deplorable condition of the school, claiming that the safety of students are also at risk. According to the teacher, the school houses between 350-400 students along with 25 teachers with only three working toilets.
The teachers also raised other issues, such as the improper staffroom for teachers, no recreational facility or canteen for students. Meanwhile, Chief Education Officer Olato Sam had visited the teachers and expressed dissatisfaction with their protest action.
According to Sam, it was a “ridiculous and illegal protest,” as he abruptly walked away from the teachers.
“Go back to your classes and teach the people children like you’re being paid to do,” the Chief Education Officer said.
He said that the ministry was never made aware of their claims since the teachers failed to raise these issues with the Head Mistress of the school before protesting.