Students and staff of the Cayon High School still do not know when they will return to their classrooms one week after school restarted in the federation.
Workmen, wearing white protective gear, were seen inside the school compound cleaning the facility in attempts to rid it of mold. The school remains off limits to students and staff due to a mold infestation.
Sources familiar with the situation speculate that the cleaning process at the school may be hampered by ongoing water woes in the Cayon area. Residents have been complaining about a reliable water supply for weeks. There has not been any confirmation of this by the Ministry of Education.
Teachers at the Cayon High School were first notified of mold contamination at the institution in March of this year. Teachers had prodded government, through a petition in May, to address the situation.
It was only one week before the start of the school on September 2 that officials conducted necessary tests at the school. By that time, staff had agreed to stay away from the Compound.
After a meeting between the Minister of Education Hon. Shawn Richards and teachers, it was agreed to postpone the opening of the Cayon High School.
Government’s approach to the Cayon High School situation has triggered mixed reactions from the public. Some are likening it to the old Basseterre High School situation, where the present government administration rejected the suggestions of reputable regional agencies- the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)- which indicated that the BHS can be inhabited after “remedial works were completed.”