TTUTA Tobago officer: Some schools still being repaired

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

TTUTA Tobago officer Bradon Roberts. –

TTUTA Tobago officer Bradon Roberts has described it as “disheartening” that some schools are still undergoing repairs ahead of the opening of the new school on Monday.

While he did not have an exact figure for the schools that are still being repaired, Roberts said he learnt workmen were mixing mortar on the premises of two schools on Thursday.

“I spoke to teachers from two different schools and they told me that workmen mixing cement,” he told Newsday.

Roberts said from his observation, “Repairs at some schools started this weekend. Work is still ongoing and that is very disheartening.”

He said Secretary in the Division of Education, Research and Technology Zorisha Hackett, a former teacher, must do better.

The division’s assistant secretary, Orlando Kerr, is also a former teacher and TTUTA Tobago officer.

“It is not like if it is an average man from the street running the division, it’s teachers. And…if they were in the classroom today, they would have been at me for not representing them. “But you are at the helm now. How could repairs be still ongoing at some schools?”

Roberts said some schools have never been fixed properly over the years “because they were poorly monitored. When you do not have enough people monitoring what the contractors are doing, it is likely that you are going to get shoddy work.

“So this rushed thing that they are doing – look, today is Thursday and you are now going to mix cement to rush through here for Monday morning. It is amazing.”

He said teachers and students need a comfortable environment to work on Monday.

Roberts also said some schools do not have adequate furniture.

“That remains a significant issue.”

He said TTUTA “will not be standing up for such” and intends to monitor the issues affecting schools and students very closely.

Contacted on Thursday, Education Secretary Zorisha Hackett said the division would host a news conference on Friday