Sunday, May 26, 2019
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Some C.W. Sawyer teachers remain off the job

Some teachers at C.W. Sawyer Primary School took part in a sickout yesterday due to concerns about chemicals used to clean the school, Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd confirmed.

“Some of the teachers at C.W. Sawyer called in sick,” he said.

“I’m not sure of the number. I’m advised about 11 of them as a result of the cleaning agents that were used by the vendor we utilized yesterday (Monday), and apparently that caused some of them to feel nauseous. We have dispatched the district superintendent to work in concert with the principal to determine precisely what the circumstances are and if any remedy is required that those remedies will be immediately applied.”

But Bahamas Union of Teachers President Belinda Wilson said the number of teachers who “called in” was much higher.

“Ninety-five percent of teachers at C.W. Sawyer Primary School called in today,” Wilson said yesterday.

“The teachers are awaiting the full report submitted by engineers to the Ministry of Education. Teachers and students should work in a safe environment.”

The primary school was closed last week following reports of mold infestation and structural decay.

Lloyd told reporters outside of Cabinet that the Ministry of Education was assessing the structural state of the school.

“We are looking at the structural circumstance of the entire school system, including C.W. Sawyer,” he said.

“Our teams along with the Ministry of Works’ teams have been working to assess exactly what the state of the physical structure is as an update to the assessment that was done last year and during the summertime.”

Teachers throughout New Providence have expressed concern about mold at schools in recent months.

In October, teachers at C.H. Reeves Junior High School withdrew their labor due to “suspicion of the presence of mold in 12 classrooms, leakage in a few of the classrooms, termite infestation and leaky toilets in one block of girls’ bathrooms”, according to Lloyd.

The union took a strike vote over the “substandard conditions” at the school in December.

Jasper Ward

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Jasper Ward started The Nassau Guardian in September 2017. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice
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