Unconfirmed reports claim that conditions at the Calliaqua Anglican School are such that the approximately 350 student population would have to forego some of the Health Ministry advised guidelines for the COVID-19 smart opening of schools for the 2020/2021 academic year.About a year ago the school was relocated on lands situated at the back of the Calliaqua Anglican Church to facilitate ongoing renovations at the official campus.These construction overhauls should have been completed for this school year but we were told that the area MP Camillo Gonsalves informed the school’s parents and teachers, at the last graduation ceremony, that he had asked the clergy for permission to have the temporary wooden structures remain for “one more school year.”We were unable to reach Minister Gonsalves to confirm.Six structures were built to house the school, one of which is a 48 x 24 “that was split in two and each class is 24×24. So we’re using 5 of these to house the students one is used to host the principal’s office and the washroom and the other part is used to host the washroom for the students.”

As we understand it the Principal was not impressed with the quality of CPEA performance that came from her school this past academic year, although the Calliaqua Anglican School was said to have attained 100 percent passes. To address this she opted to split the Sixth Grade; putting the larger batch of about 30 or so pupils in one class and the slower, smaller batch in another section of that same room.“The small number that [the principal] picked out from the Grade 6 are those who are below Grade 2 level,” one source told us of the Principal’s motivation. This Head teacher was reportedly managing that school for the past 5 years.What resulted from this class split is a virtual struggle for physical space. In at least one classroom 7 teachers gathered on Wednesday to attempt to seat 25 students. This proved to be futile given the physical dimensions of the space.At least one teacher, sources say, has been without a desk and seat of her own during her 3 year tenure at the primary school. Generally she would sit with her students – a practice now outlawed by the COVID smart protocols. This classroom split means she cannot even fit the furniture, if it was eventually provided, in the space.
When staff members objected to the apparent contravention of the COVID-19 smart guidelines, we were told the autocratic Principal retorted, “the Ministry said that there will be no social distancing” at the school. And when pressed further she claimed that “the PM said that the children should go directly to the classroom and if the PM said that she’s going with the PM and not the Ministry of Education and that the temperature checks would be done in the classroom and that is not the instructions that we got from the Ministry.”According to those protocols children are to be temperature checked before going to the classrooms and anyone with a temp greater than 100.1 Fahrenheit they are not to be placed in the classroom.Other issues at the school also includes at least 25 desks that are still needed for Grade 5, woodlice ridden teacher’s desk and “they have a few fans and have to close the windows when rain comes due to the amount of water that comes off the roof when it rains making conditions worse in the classroom room on rainy days.”
There is also a persistent puddle of water on the temporary compound which threatens to be a breeding ground for mosquitos and the increased spread of Dengue fever.ANN was also told that the staff functions without the benefit of meetings between themselves and the principals. In fact, “since the school break on the 20th we’ve had only 1 ZOOM meeting… just emails we receiving instruction.”JP.Schwmon.Vincy@Gmail.Com

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