Still work to be done on labs in Tobago schools


Marslyn Melville-Jack –

Secretary of Education, Innovation and Energy Marslyn Melville-Jack has said the labs at the Signal Hill Secondary School will be completed within a month.

On Monday, when face-to-face learning resumed for secondary school students of forms four to six, Melville-Jack led a tour of schools on the island.

She admitted that there is work to be done.

“There are so many things that we can do better. Things are not perfect, and we don’t expect them to be perfect all at once – we know that these are unprecedented times,” she said.

She gave details: “(In) a few of the labs, the construction is still in progress, and that is so because the scope has changed. They want to ensure that when they refabricate these labs (they) can cope with any situation,” she said.

She said at Signal Hill, three labs are not yet completed.

To make up for this, she said, “The science teachers have been doing those aspects of the curriculum…that would not require them to go into the lab. What they have also done is taken some of the equipment out and they have used them in classrooms that are empty.”

At the Pentecostal Light and Life Foundation, Roxborough Secondary and Harmons School of SDA, she said all the labs were in perfect working condition, but there was a problem with the one at Mason Hall Secondary.

“It is a plumbing problem and we’re hoping to address that as soon as possible. But they are able to use the labs.

“The PIU (Project Implementation Unit) assured us that at Mason Hall Secondary, the plumbing situation would be handled as soon as possible.”

She said it was not impossible to use the lab but sometimes it was It’s not that they’re not able to use the lab but sometimes it was “waterlogged, so they are working on that.”

At the Harmons School of SDA, connectivity is the challenge and the information technology technicians on the tour had said they need to instal more access points, “Because the school is so divided in different areas, its almost like a campus. So the few access points that they have at this time would not allow everybody to be able to access.

“They have promised that they would look into this as soon as next week and ensure that there are more access points.”

Melville-Jack said the challenges at Roxborough Secondary School were slightly different.

“There is a need for furniture, which thankfully at this time – because everybody is not going out…we have an opportunity to deal with that at this point,” she said.

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