US agency to undertake tests at Basseterre High School

According to Deputy Prime Minister Shawn Richards the Pan American Health Organization has recommended an institution that would make a visit to the school’s location. MiyVue understands that contact was made with the United States based National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), an arm of the US Center for Disease Control (CDC).

“NIOSH should have been in the country this month… They have indicated to the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health, Andrew Skerritt, that they are not available until May,” said Richards, who is also the minister responsible for education.

“We are saying that May is too far. So we are in discussion with PAHO to see if it (the date) cannot be brought forward,” Richards said.

Just last year, the Caribbean Industrial Research Institution (CARIRI) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) conducted several tests at the Basseterre High School’s premises.

The two leading Caribbean institutions provided findings that have not led to a resolution to the problems at the school, although some work on their recommendations has improved the facilities. However, just weeks after the reoccupation of the school, similar health complaints from students and teachers surfaced once more.

The gates of that institution have since been locked and classes relocated to the neighbouring Washington Archibald High School.

However, the ministry noted that the current shift system in place at the Washington Archibald School is not ideal for both institutions, including the teachers and staff.

Deputy Prime Minister Richards said the Ministry of Education would be meeting with various stakeholders from the Basseterre High School, the Washington Archibald High School, as well as others, to look at the way forward for the Basseterre High School.


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