Duke calls on Hacket to address issues at Scarborough Secondary

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


The Scarborough Secondary School on Milford Road Tobago. Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

PROGRESSIVE Democratic Patriots political leader Watson Duke is calling on THA Secretary of Education, Research and Technology Zorisha Hackett to urgently address issues affecting Scarborough Secondary School. The school has long been plagued by infrastructural challenges and staff shortages.

Extensive repairs delayed its reopening by one week at the start of the September 5 term. Newsday learnt that students in at least two forms are rotating classes. Last year, the Prime Minister said there were plans to relocate the school because coastal erosion was threatening its foundation.

In the third instalment of its Monday Mandate series, Duke claimed a parent of a student attending the school complained to him about the issues plaguing the institution. The parent, he claimed, described the school as a “hot mess.”

“I have gotten some reports about the Scarborough Secondary School and I thought I should let you think about it and perhaps talk on it in your Monday mandate,” Duke told the Farley Augustine-led THA in a video posted on his Facebook page. He claimed he was told that a part of the auditorium was under construction while another area was blocked off. The parent, he claimed, regarded the situation as a “massive hazard and safety concern.”

Duke claimed the parent also complained about the shortage of teachers in at least seven subject areas, including Mathematics, English, Information Technology and Science. Subjects like Geography at Caribbean Advanced Proficiency and Technical Drawing are also not offered because of the lack of teachers. The parent accused the Division of Education of “dragging its feet” on the issue.

The school, he learnt, is also being affected by limited library space, a lack of teaching supplies and an absence of working phone lines and internet service.

Duke, in his video, also addressed the non-completion of schools in Tobago during the July and August vacation. He described the issue as a perrenial one. “Every year, schools are always not completed in time. That is something that has been going on for the past 21 years and it continues. We can blame it on newness. We can blame it on various people conspiring. But we must accept responsibility at the end of the day. Let us try our best to complete those schools within the first quarter.”

Duke also urged Chief Secretary Augustine to make public the PDP’s mandate. “Mr Chief Secretary, put the mandate of the PDP out there, the newspapers. Put it online. Put it out there for each and every assemblyman. Let the Tobago people judge each and every secretary, assistant secretary on their ability to fulfil the mandate.”

He said the THA must also adhere to its timelines. “When we say Monday Mandate, Monday Mandate must mean Monday Mandate. We must be in a position to report. We must not allow emergencies or unforeseen circumstances to prevent us from reporting to our principals. The people of Tobago are the principals. They were the ones who would have put us into office.” The THA was due to host Mandate Monday but it was postponed.


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *