State College Lecturers Stage Sickout

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File Photo: Antigua State College

Tuesday 26th March, 2019-Classrooms were left without lecturers today at Antigua State College after teachers at the institution staged a sickout.

Students who showed up for classes were surprised when the staff failed to put in an appearance at the College in Golden Grove.

According to a source, lecturers have taken action after they were privy to the contents of a report that was compiled by the Central Board of Health, which outlined in part that the environment in which they work is unsafe. The report was completed in December, 2018 and was then submitted to Antigua State College’s management in January, 2019. One source contends the document was forwarded by ASC’s Principal to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, but no steps were taken to rectify the many issues.

The 10 page-report seen by POINTE FM is titled: “Antigua State College Campus, Environment and Public Health Assessment Report.” In it, the compound, buildings, classrooms and lighting were deemed unsatisfactory, which according to the report means they do not meet health requirements. For the compound and building, it was determined that more than 50 % of the areas covered were damaged, contaminated and safety hazards, while for the classrooms and lighting, the report highlighted that more than 50% of the areas covered were damaged, contaminated and safety hazards.

The entire assessment conducted by the Central Board of Health gave the institution a failing grade.

Now teachers are questioning if the report was submitted to the Ministry of Education, why the authorities there did not take action to improve the conditions. The lecturers say they won’t be returning to work until the problems are rectified.It means their sickout will seriously affect student learning, especially those preparing for CAPE in the upcoming months.

There is no word yet from Ministry of Education officials.

The lecturers have now joined the administrative staff of Antigua State College who staged a sit-in last week over unsuitable working conditions. They too are vowing not to return to work, unless the existing conditions are improved.

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