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IT MATTERS TO MARIA: Back gate headache for parents

MARIA BRADSHAW, [email protected]

IT MATTERS TO MARIA: Back gate headache for parents

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Some parents whose children attend Erdiston Nursery School are pleading with officials at the Erdiston Teachers’ College to reopen the gate which leads to Bishop’s Court Hill, St Michael.

The school and the college are among four learning institutions which are located at the expansive complex.

The parents complained that they have to walk too far on mornings and evenings along the stretch of road at Erdiston via Pine Road, with their toddlers in tow, to get to the institution.

The gate, which is located at the back of Erdiston College and which had been used as a shortcut for many years, was permanently locked in 2016.

A concerned parent pointed out that while it would take about ten minutes from Bishop’s Court Hill to get to the school through the back gate, it was now taking her 45 minutes to an hour to make the long trek through Pine Road.

The parent complained that on many occasions, she and her three-year-old had been drenched when it rained, sometimes forcing them to return home.

“The gate use to be opened and we would use it as a shortcut, but the college locked it over a year ago and it is causing a big inconvenience for children who live in the surrounding area and who attend the nursery,” she lamented.

The complex also houses Erdiston Special School and New Horizon Learning Institution, both of which also cater to children.

“People who live at Brittons Hill and Collymore Rock have to walk too far and that is not fair because we have small children,” the woman added.

She said she had reached out to management at Erdiston College, as well as the Ministry of Education but no positive response had been forthcoming.

Last year just before schools took their Christmas break, Dr Leah Garner, chairman of Erdiston Teachers’ College, was asked about the possibility of the gate being opened for at least an hour in the morning and in the evening to accommodate those children.

She said: “We have made some suggestions to the relevant persons that would help alleviate some of the problems that the schools are having, because we take into consideration that the complex is just not Erdiston, it is a family of schools together, and whatever decision we must encompass the safety of all persons on the grounds.”

She reported that the gate was closed because of criminal activity.

“We’ve had a number of robberies on campus and other criminal activities where people used the back gate as a way to escape. We made a decision to close it and since we have closed it, we have not had any issues at all.”

In terms of opening the gate for a few hours, Garner said a decision would be made: “We are taking all of that under consideration. It is a process that is being put in place and all aspects of it will be considered before a final decision is made.” (MB)