Anthony Stewart, PhD
With a pass rate of 82% for CSEC Building and Furniture Technology in 2019, one would conclude that our students and teachers are doing well. However, a closer look in and at our school-buildings may show a different picture. Appeals are made for students to take care of both the school buildings and the furniture in them. Why is there vandalism in our schools?
Broken furniture is usually fully the responsibility of the students. Angry students full of energy do not realise the extent of the hurt they cause by their reckless behaviours. Destruction of furniture is costly and wasteful. Lack of supervision and poor management of schools may also contribute. If only the furniture could speak and record the abuse done to them what would they tell us?
“Why am I being dragged to injure my four legs and simultaneously digging up the classroom floor?”
“I should not be a part of this fight. Don’t throw me around!”
“I want to live a long life. Why are you cutting me down in my youth?”
“I am not a rocking chair.”
“In case you did not know, my purpose here is to seat you comfortably so that you can accomplish your mission then pass me on in good condition unto the next user please.”
This abuse must end now and those guilty must desist from chair abuse, furniture molestation, and school-building vandalism.
Wherever Building and Furniture Technology is taught in schools, furniture repairs should be an integral part of the program. Every effort should be made to prevent the damage and destruction of school furniture and to keep them in good repair. Students should not be denied this valuable learning opportunity. There is no alternative to constant vigilance through school patrol and adequate supervision. This is accomplished through the physical presence of school workers of all categories organized and timetabled for patrol.
Defacing the walls of schools especially the bathrooms needs to be prevented through forensic analysis of the graffiti by teachers (handwriting experts) and holding the culprits responsible by having them clean and restore them.
Some deterioration of school property are due to poor construction. Broken locks and hinges, broken gas lines, exposed steel in floors, guttering out of joint, leaking toilets, cracks in columns and walls, and fading paintworks all cry out for repairs. Building and Furniture Technology students should not be denied the opportunity to help. Volunteers too can be allowed to make their contribution with adequate supervision.
Students have a right to a school building in good repair and they have a responsibility to prevent damage and to effect some of the repairs with adequate supervision.