Principal at the Paradise Street Basic School, Terika Grant, is making a public plea to alleviate subpar conditions at the East Kingston-based institution.
The school, which was originally established in 1973, reopened early last year but failed to impress health inspectors due to unsanitary conditions.
“We can do a whole lot more for the children we serve if we are in a more comfortable environment.”— Grant
Almost a year later, Grant said there has been no change, affecting a student population of 30.
“We only have two classrooms, and there are no fans,” Grant told BUZZ. “The babies from two to three-years-old are sharing one classroom, and I teach the four and five-year-olds in another. We have five bathrooms which need new fixtures – two are out of commission including the staff bathroom. We have light issues, no fire alarm system and no handwashing station.”
Those add to the playground which needs fencing for security, and they also need teaching aids like computers and a printer.
“We have only reached out to Member of Parliament Ronald Thwaites,” she said. “We’ve sent letters with a list of the issues and invoices over the year, but we are still waiting. The only thing we got over the summer was a little fridge. We need to be registered by the Early Childhood Commission, and we need basic communication tools for the office.”
Efforts to contact Thwaites proved unsuccessful.
At this point, Grant is willing to accept help beyond the Opposition Spokesman on Education. She may be contacted via phone at 876-445-5964.
“We have a beautiful school and we need help. We can do a whole lot more for the children we serve if we are in a more comfortable environment and we are able to get paid because the salary is the worst thing ever,” she said. “We’re supposed to be getting $20,000 a month and not even that we can achieve. There are two teachers here alongside myself. I’m a mother of two and the others are single parents of one, and we are hanging in there because our children is what is important.”
Grant started as a volunteer educator at the school in May until she was appointed principal in September. She holds a degree in education and a diploma in early childhood education.