THE Saint Lucia Teachers’ Union (SLTU) and the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) faculty will meet today in an effort to settle certain issues plaguing the college that have had teachers staying away from classrooms for three days — so far – citing illness.
Teachers return to the classrooms today, ending their period of absence, “but will not be engaging fully in their respective teaching chores”, The Voice has learned from an impeccable source.
It is still unclear whether the three days of teacher absenteeism were a deliberate ploy to drive home to the Ministry of Education — in particular the Minister — the conditions under which they are forced to work in and under.
The Voice learnt yesterday that “the classroom environment, the condition of the school and the lack of teaching paraphernalia” are just some of the problems afflicting the island’s premier educational facility, to the point where teachers Thursday, Friday and yesterday decided to stay away from the school giving the campus a ‘ghost town’ type of appearance yesterday.
Places where students usually frequent either for recreational purposes or to do some studying were simply empty. The various school buildings, usually busy with activities, were all silent.
The situation at the college came to a head Thursday when teachers reported to their respective Heads of Department of being unwell, many seeking medical attention to prove their point.
The college management has yet to make a statement on what is taking place within its walls. Efforts to get a comment from Vice Principal Dr. Merle St. Clair Auguste yesterday were futile, as she was said to be in a meeting and could not be disturbed.
Neither has there been any word from the Ministry of Education on what is going on at the college, the second educational facility that has recorded teachers falling sick without any reason being given for the sickness at the time the action was taken.
First it was the Babonneau Secondary School where reports of a mold infestation are dominant and giving rise to the validity of the mold infestation were healthy teachers falling sick and their doctors asserting that this may be the result of the mold.
Repair works are currently being done at the school as of last week and expected to continue throughout this week.
But while acknowledging the school is closed and repairs are under way, the Ministry has still not yet given reason/s for the repairs or acknowledged that the school has a fungus infestation.