Sun | Apr 30, 2017

School closure was beyond our control - chairman

Published:Friday | September 25, 2015 | 9:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Students leaving Clan Carthy High after the dismissal of school yesterday. The education ministry has instructed that make-up classes be held for hundreds of students who were asked to stay home because of a furniture shortage.

Seymour Riley, chairman of the Clan Carthy High School in Kingston, yesterday confirmed that all will be in place for the students to attend school on Monday.

Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday following a statement from the Ministry of Education, Riley noted that the school did its best to curtail the situation but things moved slowly.

"We had a few hurdles before the beginning of the school year. We recognised that the number of students we got was more than we could manage. We did the necessary preparations, but things did not move as quickly as we wanted," he said.

"We regret that we had to resort to that, but we wanted to ensure that the fifth and first-form students were, not affected, all with the intention to remedy things as soon as possible. However, all students will be back on Monday and just this morning the supplier confirmed that all is well," Riley continued.

Make-up classes for absent students

In the meantime, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites in a statement yesterday instructed school leaders to ensure that make-up classes were provided for students who were absent.

Thwaites noted that a meeting was held yesterday with representatives of the school's board of management, who disclosed that 120 desks and chairs were on order to be delivered on the weekend.

He said this would complete the initial shortfall of 300 pieces of furniture, 100 of which were renovated by the school and the remainder provided by the Ministry of Education.

"The decision to keep approximately 200 students away from school for a day, in order to cope with the lack of furniture, should have been referred to the Ministry of Education for prior consideration. Students' attendance was paramount," he said.

In addition, Thwaites expressed concern at the high rate of damage to furniture and asked the school leaders to impress upon students at Clan Carthy High to take better care of school property. He also instructed the regional director to conduct a full inventory of the furniture at the school vis-a-vis the size of the student enrolment.

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com