BVI News

Cleaning underway! Mould forces return of online classes for seniors

File photo of inside the makeshift building in Pasea Estate that houses ESHS students.

A mould infestation has reportedly forced the abrupt closure of the old Clarence Thomas Limited (CTL) building at Pasea Estate which houses senior Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) students.

The issue has caused the return of online classes for the next few days starting today, straight into next week.

This comes after students at the school recently returned to face-to-face sessions this term, following a year of online classes due to COVID-19.

When contacted for a comment on the issue, Education Minister, Dr Natalio Wheatley told BVI News the Pasea campus of Elmore Stoutt High School will be cleaned thoroughly for mould. 

According to the Education Minister, “this is in keeping with the ministry’s commitment to eradicate mould in the learning environment and to present a safe and healthy space for administrators, teachers, students, and support staff.”

The notice of no physical classes was issued late last evening through various social media platforms, including a very brief Facebook message from the school’s Rams Media Group page.

Later in the evening, an email from the ESHS Principal, Vanessa Garraway, offered further details about the closure and how students should proceed.

Garraway said all classes, including technical classes which are usually held at the Lower Estate campus, are expected to remain online until the end of the period. 

Reopening information, she said, will be communicated as soon as the process is completed and the building is ready.

Students are expected to check emails and Google classroom daily for updates. 

Students struggle with breathing at CTL campus

Meanwhile, in a Facebook message posted yesterday afternoon, a high school teacher at the CTL campus made an earnest plea for something to be done about the dire situation at the campus.

In the message which garnered more than 100 reactions, the teacher, who is also a parent, said she was writing to plead with parents to take a stand for the children and avoid waiting until someone becomes a statistic or headline news. 

She expressed that there has been no nurse assigned to the campus over the years and related an issue where a student suffered breathing challenges reportedly related to the mould issue.

“On my way to Riteway, I saw a student bent over struggling to breathe. I stopped and asked if she was ok. She could barely speak. She managed to tell me that she had asthma and was struggling. She had her pump, but it didn’t seem to be helping,” the teacher recalled.

Not knocking gov’t, several students want to leave

According to the educator, several students have asked to be allowed to leave the building, as they too struggled to breathe. She was quick to add that the students were not delinquent and were not inclined to be faking their condition.

“They are really struggling,” the teacher added. “Many of us are well aware that our children deal with medical issues, yet we send them to a school without a nurse. Even without a prior medical record, we know anything can happen.” 

She continued: “My biggest fear is that one day we will have a situation that causes serious damage on my campus. Damage that may be mitigated if we had a trained nurse on hand. We all know the ambulance takes a while to get to most locations.” 

The teacher advocated for someone to speak up, and said hoping for the best after dropping off students at the school was not enough. “We take the health of our children in our hands when we stay quiet,” she urged.

She added the caveat that her statements were not a knock on any government official since the students were there before the current administration. She said her statements were, rather, a cry for help.

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38 Comments

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  1. Report says:

    This is sickening.

    Like 22
    • Useless says:

      What a useless lot the Belongers are. It’s been years since Irma and a simple school could not be rebuilt in this time frame. You are now raising another generation of illiterate Belongers. Best to keep the masses dumb so the ruling class can retain power. How dare any of you comment about colonialism. You need colonialism.

      Like 15
      Dislike 6
      • Boyyy... says:

        And the leader claiming to be the saviour of all caribbean people. Cant even darn well manage a school in a third world (nore like fourth world) country. Talk dat to ‘granny’!

      • @Useless says:

        Need to take a hike up that usless anal canal and give it a good cleaning, as it smells horrificly hateful and racist.

      • Future says:

        You obviously know nothing of who controls the money in the VI. So because of your ignorance let me tell you. The UK controls the budget. If they don’t approve, we have go money to do certain things. Remember the UK is who said our GDP was too high to get funding after the hurricanes.

        • That was eu says:

          And Uk don’t control budget. Useless a bit nasty and folks if this soil my brothers and sisters but voted and haven’t taken down the clown crew in office chatting colonial bs slave bs so yeah, the point on the school ain’t far off. $ 1.2 Billion spent since Irma by gov and no fkn school, mould in the clt temp joint? Pathetic. And all we pathetic standing by side of road letting incomp gov splash dirt water on us as they drive back and forth over our money and liberties.

  2. heckler says:

    We had a long holiday weekend recently so why the building couldn’t be cleaned then?

    Like 26
    • @ heckler says:

      As usual, our Government is reactive! If the brave teacher (bless her soul) hadn’t posted about the situation on social media, there wouldn’t have been any action today. This is truly disheartening!

      Like 24
    • Time to resign says:

      Time to resign. You are a threat to your own mandate. Resign yourself both the top and his deputy.

    • to hecler says:

      they couldnt clean over the holiday weekend because the public disgrace came out yesterday. thank goodness for social media

  3. teachers says:

    We had plan to strike if this wasn’t done asap

    Like 11
  4. bottom line says:

    The VIP government is a waste of time

    Like 21
    • UK Own says:

      People of the Bvi the Problem is Simple with the Mould to be fixed Especially a Haardware store owner.Mould is Caused my Trapped Moisture in Ceiling and places thats not getting Ventilated Properly.Heat extracting Fans is needed in the Buildings to prevent the Mould.Have yo Ever seen Mould or Moss growing in Sunlight? Government paying So much money at this point to People who can pick up Stuff from their Store and fix that issue for 50cents its a damn Shame that this Make News..

      Like 18
  5. Unacceptable says:

    Yet they say the children is our future this is no way to treat the future

  6. Questions says:

    Now, the question is why couldn’t they have addressed this issue during the summer. This secret was out years ago. As a parent, I could pick up the smell of mold from you set foot in the building. What is really going on with the schools? Why did they just talk about deep cleaning and not be transparent and say what the problem is? Why are the children still going to school half day and every week is it some “free time”. How are these children going to compete on an international platform? Why isn’t ESHS not rebuild since IRMA, except for the L-Shaped Building? My son says his classroom is so hot…he sweats like he running track.
    Now the teachers are on strike. I really can’t blame them.

    My God, Why, Why, Why? Forget party politics..is our Government serious about our youths? When we fail them, it’s going to be a problem for the entire Territory. I pity the children and Teachers…May God be with us all.

    Like 15
    Dislike 1
  7. >> says:

    Is that a picture of Haiti or Africa? Well the one good thing is that we don’t have an island man as Minister of Education right? Feels good right? Serves this place just right and there’s worst to come. The populace voted based on bad mind now it’s manifesting. Enjoy the ride.

    Like 15
    Dislike 2
  8. Nonsense says:

    Not even mold Natalio could get cleaned. This is pathetic.

    • MyChild says:

      He is worst thsn the mold itself.
      You would think that at yhe earliest convenience e be d ok me time aho,ago, would have been sn army of brute force designated to each and every school to root out every ounce of mold…The hard truth is that in the VI. Children are no more than parental mistakes ( just like rape has been classified) and conveniences for the proverbial citizenship..the demographic to whom the VI has consciously been mYChildyielded dominance in population,is evidence of that fact. The current Premier in his previous role as a minister of education was effortlessly dumbing down the education system and parents were good with that..they promoted him to Premier.

  9. tenants only says:

    is this not the responsibility of the land lord to address and resolve?

    Like 15
    Dislike 2
  10. Reality says:

    The reality is this was supposed to be a temporary situation. The building is not ideal for classroom settings and there’s no reason why the ESHS campus still doesn’t have capacity with all the stupid spending by this Government over the past few years. No reason why construction couldn’t have happened for some sort of accommodation on the campus during the COVID break. No reason why the CTL building couldn’t be completely gutted and revamped if they felt it was needed for another year or so. We hear them saying the ESHS campus will be ready for April 2022, that is 6 months away and no construction has started. Total incompetence on display!

    Like 27
  11. Shameful says:

    I am spending money I hardly have send my child private school not because I feel my child better than but because the public schools are deplorable

    Like 13
  12. talk up says:

    Yes teachers. continue to speak up and speak out. Youall complain to them all they time but they dont hear. The minute you speak out, they send you a message saying you should have spoken to them before going public. Youall stand in unity. Drastic action brings change. They can’t victimize all ayo. Keep silent that means everything ok.

    While million dollars in development taking place, just look at the dump where people children going to learn every day. Got to be like a mad house with noise and a little boxed off partition. Don’t talk about the 1 bathroom.

    Like 11
  13. Mash up says:

    The building is not appropiate for a school environment. The past Education Minister mash up the whole education sytem
    VIP have their hands full they now have to fix all the mistakes of former administration.

    Like 5
    Dislike 16
    • @Mashup says:

      Stop talking gibberish because the hand writing is on the wall. You need to go and come again with that comment. Who have eyes to see let them see.

      Like 7
      Dislike 2
    • @Mash up says:

      Stop your lies. This would never happen under Myton watch. Never. We had a strong education system after the NDP left office and the few things that are being done now were in train by the NDP.

  14. WHAT??? says:

    Honourable (?) Wheatley you should resign today – you are absolutely worthless. Shame on you. You’re messing with our childrens lives.

    Like 12
    • Eagle says:

      The Chief Education Officer is who needs to go home. Each of those Education Officers in the Education Department were once teachers working at the same secondary school. What have they done to make a difference to the environment since going to a post in the department?

  15. Hmmmmmm says:

    Then we hear our radio hosts and others talk about UK this and white man that. Look at how we treat our own f**king kids, we have no shame and this place will not get any better. The outrage will last for 2 days and all will be well again while our kids breathe in filth and we drive in s**t water. The BVI is in a very very bad place.

    Like 21
  16. wiseass says:

    The problem did not arise over the last two years it was there for many years and no Government did anything. It is interesting to know what terms of arrangement our intelligent former education minister agreed to with the owner of CTL Building all that money and the owner cannot address the mold situation.

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
    • shanox says:

      u say u go fix it so fix it!

    • Questions that need answers says:

      Good questions.

      What did the contract agreement state?

      Who was responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the building?

      When will this situation end?

      Is this how we ensure that the children are the future?

      Education on this island has been and continue to be terrorized by governments in and governments out. This didn’t just happen, it happened over the last 2 decades, government in and government out.

      Can’t fix a problem that requires surgery with a bandaide.

  17. Well sah says:

    He send ayo home to teach online … was afraid of the strike

  18. Resident says:

    I understand that we pay $50 000 a month for renting the building.
    Shouldn’t it be the responsibility of the landlord to maintain it?
    Smh.BVILove.

  19. Hmmmm says:

    Carvin Malone and others in multiple group chats warning us about the UK and the white takeover, meanwhile they treat our OWN LOCAL YOUTH like DOGS!!!!!!!!!!! Is this how you show love? IF you treat your own people this way then what you leave for an outsider to do? I hope the first recommendation of the COI is to call elections by Easter of 2022 because this Territory needs ridding of this incompetent set! The VIP has 4 Teachers as part of their Government, 4!!!!!!!!!! Where is Sharie? We hear NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING from her unless it’s some grandstanding nonsense. She is Jr. Minister of Tourism and NOTHING from her, she is a Teacher by profession and NOTHING from her, Sowande is a former HLSCC Lecturer, NOTHING! Fahie, former ESHS Math Teacher, NOTHING. Vincent, former Teacher, NOTHING! The people are being taught to hate the white man and all outsiders but no outsider would have treated the BVI people like this government is doing that is a fact. It is sad to think that there is much worst to get before it gets better, and before long you will hear the mighty praying (preying?) Premier with his excuses about Covid, COI and that the lord will help us through blah blah.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  20. Mold is no joke says:

    Mold is a silent killer. The Government need to hire REAL QUALIFY Mold experts. Every school with mold, Goverment hiring same company. These quick fixes will not work and keep costing taxpayers.

  21. @wiseass says:

    Mold is a maintenance issue. Maintenance is an on going thing that you should constantly pay attention to. Blaming the former minister who have been out of office 3 years now for mold 3 years after he is gone is to show a lack of understanding of the issue. The fact is that with all the out of school time that we had there is no reason why maintenance work could not be done on all our schools.

  22. Eagle says:

    The Chief Education Officer is who needs to go home. Each of those Education Officers in the Education Department were once teachers working at the same secondary school. What have they done to make a difference to the environment since going to a post in the department?

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