Extensive repairs at Couva West Secondary
The Couva West Secondary School opened to students in September 2013. Since its handover to the Ministry of Education, the school has been plagued with many infrastructural, sewer, plumbing and air conditioning problems, which the Ministry has been consistently addressing. When the repairs thus far to this school have been tallied, over six million dollars ($6,000,000.00) has been spent to rectify these issues in an effort to reduce any loss in teaching time. The Ministry is aware of the impact that the last forced closure has caused and has continued to work expediently to bring the school into a state of readiness where teachers and students can return to teaching and learning in a comfortable environment.
To truly understand the predicament that the Ministry has been placed in with this school, one must be familiar with the challenges that have been faced since 2013. The problems that have been occurring at the Couva West Secondary School are very similar to other schools that were handed over to the Ministry of Education around the similar time period. This has caused the Ministry to conduct extensive Quality Surveying and assessments in an attempt to mitigate these problems arising with any additional schools.
Minister of Education the Honourable Anthony Garcia stated “I understand the frustration that stakeholders of Couva West must feel because I too share their sentiments. It is unfortunate that we have gotten to this point because of poor work that would have been done initially however, the goal now is to get students back into a school that will not be plagued with these types of issues going forward. I thank the parents, teachers and students for their patience and the Ministry will continue to work toward returning the school to a state of normalcy in the shortest time.”
Currently, the Ministry is working with various state agencies and other Ministries to carry-out the nearly two million dollars ($2,000,000.00) in repair works that are to be effected. Work is being done on underground leaks, sewer pump issues, electrical, suspected mould, water proofing and the addressing of recommendations made by CARIRI. These works are no small undertaking and must be completed satisfactorily before teachers and students can return to classes.