St Andrew's Primary deemed 'dangerous'
April 5, 2004
St Andrew's Primary school, on the Avenue of the Republic and Croal Street, has been condemned by City Engineer, Cephas James, as being "...in a ruinous state, dangerous to [its] occupants, passers-by and neighbouring buildings..."
A source within the Ministry of Education told Stabroek News on Friday that James, in keeping with standard practice regarding dilapidated buildings, wrote to the ministry describing the poor condition of the school's structure and recommending that it be renovated almost immediately.
Consequently, officials of the ministry and the City Council met on Thursday and it was indicated that there had been considerable progress in the tender process to start work on the building.
In a letter carried in Friday's Stabroek News, St Andrews was deemed: "an eyesore in the heart of the city. It is a holding pen for pupils during the school day; a perusal of SSEE results should confirm this."
In reference to the general surroundings of the institution, the letter writer expressed concern about the students' consistent exposure to "the goings on at the nearby Roof Garden (six feet away) and the cacophony … from minibuses, taxi drivers, the vendors and all the accompanying vulgarity..."
In response to these observations, the source said the ministry is aware of the circumstances and will relocate the institution once there is an opening to accommodate such a move.
Relocation of schools involves finding a site where there is sufficient space for a recreation facility and other resources as prescribed in the "non-academic standards". Further, the source asserted, this dilemma is compounded by the rural-to-urban drift that has put pressure on the city schools.
It was pointed out, meanwhile, that the public should be vigilant in ensuring that existing school buildings are not vandalised.
The source said vandalism is particularly rampant during vacation periods when electrical components and other expensive and necessary equipment are destroyed or stolen.
Additionally, it is important that the sanitary facilities provided at these institutions are not misused, the source emphasised. The school's head-teacher declined comment when contacted by Stabroek News.