“School closed for the week”


Blackman and Gollop Primary will remain closed for the rest of the week.

This was disclosed by principal Petrona Holder during an emergency meeting yesterday evening at the Staple Grove, Christ Church school.

“The Ministry of Education, through Deputy Chief Education Officer Joy Adamson, has said the school will be closed for the rest of the week and the problem will be dealt with,” Holder told the parents gathered in the school hall.

Blackman And Gollop has been affected by an ongoing environmental issue of cow itch since last month.

While rumours circulated via WhatsApp yesterday that pupils were in the hall all day “doing nothing”, Holder assured parents the children were engaged throughout the day.

“We were unable to conduct classes because of the ash blowing into the classrooms, but the students were engaged,” she said.

Last week, the burning of heaps of cow itch near the school caused ash to hang in the air, resulting in some blocks being closed and both students and teachers suffering from respiratory issues.

The principal also announced that end-of-term exams, which were scheduled to be held from tomorrow until next Tuesday, had been cancelled.

“Children are not settled and their minds are not focused. A date has been identified when the evaluation would be done, which will be sent in letters to parents,” she said, adding a plan had been put in place to relocate Class 4 students, if necessary.

As parents continued to voice their concerns over the cow itch problem, Holder said the plan that was put in place was halted because of the rains.

“There was a plan in place to clear the cow itch during the vacation, but after one of the machines got stuck in the soggy ground, the cleaning was stopped,” she said, noting that a team was clearing the field opposite the school while the meeting was in progress.

Meanwhile, president of the Parent-Teacher Association, Lester King, has penned a letter to both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Environment. He asked parents to sign it before it was delivered to the relevant authorities today. (RA)