Parents puzzled as Atwell’s closes

The closure would affect about 300 students.

A delegation of parents met with Education Minister Anthony Garcia at his office at 7 am yesterday to discuss the next step for their children.

“Essentially the meeting discussed what the Ministry of Education can give to them,” Minister Anthony Garcia said yesterday. “You have to bear in mind that it is a private institution, not a Government institution, and therefore there are limits to what assistance we can give. During the meeting we decided to keep the lines of communication open, and we will dialogue with the parents as often as is possible.” Garcia revealed,”They (the delegation) wanted to know if they wanted to establish another school what are the procedures that they must go through. They needed to get statutory approval and that would be from the regional corporation, TTEC (Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission), and WASA (Water and Sewerage Authority).

We will need to know if they could implement the curriculum and we would have to take into consideration what are the teachers’ qualifications, and also infrastructure issues.” Garcia said after meeting with him, the parents met with a senior officer of the ministry to outline different structures that would be necessary in establishing a new school. The minister said he had not received a report of that meeting as he was in other meetings for the rest of the day.

When Newsday contacted the school yesterday to find out about the closure of the facility, a person who identified herself as the receptionist said the principal, Helen Atwell-Koo, was teaching a class at the time.

Her message was brief: “The principal said she is retiring and that is all there is to this.” Garcia said that was what was puzzling the parents.

“Nobody seems to know,” he said.

“All we received was a letter from the school principal stating that the school will no longer function. It was dated January 27, 2017, indicating that the school would be closing to all students with the exception of standards four and five.

“These classes would close in July 2018 and that is to facilitate those students who would be writing the SE A exams. All other classes will come to a halt in July 2017.” Garcia said the parents stated that they were not consulted, that they had no prior information, there was no discussion with the school’s administration and up to the time they met with the minister, they had not heard anything further from the school administration.


"Parents puzzled as Atwell’s closes"

More in this section