NATION

Mothers Raise Concern On Unsafe School Building

Two mothers whose children attend a primary school in Lautoka want the Ministry of Labour to inspect a classroom which they feel could seriously injure students should a wall give
27 Jan 2017 11:32
Mothers Raise Concern On Unsafe School Building
Ravina Chand (left), and daughter, Isha and Sharon Chand and daughter, Eshaniya. Photo: Charles Chambers

Two mothers whose children attend a primary school in Lautoka want the Ministry of Labour to inspect a classroom which they feel could seriously injure students should a wall give way.

The mothers, Ravina Kumar and Sharon Chand supplied pictures of the inside of the classrooms at Ghandi Bhawan Primary School, showing how the ceiling has separated from a wall.

School manager Bijesh Chand said the wall for that classroom, which clearly could be seen from the outside slanting outwards, was damaged by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“There is nothing wrong with the building or the classrooms as it was passed by the Lautoka City Council, Biosecurity and the Occupational Health Safety section in the Ministry of Labour,” Mr Chand said.

However, LCC chief executive officer Jone Nakauvadra said buildings in that state could only be passed for occupation by the Ministry of Labour’s OHS Department and not the Council.

A source from the Ministry of Labour said the only building which they passed at the school was a new four-classroom block which opened on the first day of school this year.

The OHS Department is expected to inspect the building today.

When contacted earlier this week, the divisional education officer West Salemo Walevu referred all questions on the issue to Mr Chand.

Mrs Kumar said her daughter, Isha, whose Year 1 stream was in that room, have now been shifted to another room after she complained to the school’s head teacher.

“What we are afraid of is if the wall shifts out some more then the ceiling will come crashing down on the children,” Mrs Kumar said.

“I am saying this for all the children and not just mine.”

Mrs Chand said they knew they may be victimised but it was about time parents stood up and spoke up.

Both mothers said even the new four classroom block did not have a toilet block.

“Now the children have to walk quite a distance to go to the toilets and when it rains there is no walkway,” Mrs Kumar said.

“For a school roll with over 500 students, there are only seven toilets.”

Mrs Kumar said the main problem with the present toilet block was that it was isolated from the classrooms and surrounded by some plantation.

“There is no fencing and if someone comes and hides in the toilet, no one will see,” she said.

Both women have called for the Minister for Education to look into the problems at the school.

Edited by Paula Tuvuki

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

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