Holy Angels Roman Catholic School, along the Stann Creek Valley in Pomona,Dangriga is having plenty issues tonight with the dilapidated state of the buildings. The roof of one of the buildings is infested with bats and bat guano. But if the students move to another building, then there is also the flooring that is not safe and there is also termites and rats. So bat faeces and poor overall conditions are what both students and teachers are facing. The teachers themselves are trying to find funds to fix the problem, but it is not one that they should have to bear the cost. We spoke to the President of the Belize National Teachers Union, Elena Smith, who says that the union is well aware of the many issues that affect Holy Angel R.C.
Elena Smith President of BNTU: “ I spoke to the principal and they are seeing how best they can get funds to deal with the matter because as it relates to the management it seemed as though based on what they have been told that the management is unable to afford the repairs for the schools and these teachers sought the media as a means of helping them to get you know what they are going through out there and to see if they can get assistance. By going to the media it wasn’t appreciated by some members in the management positions and so these teachers based on what we were told they were chastised for going to the media to put their issues out there. Now I am being told that the management locally will be giving them three thousand dollars. They have not gotten anything from the general manager yet and they have requested it but it seems as if though they do not have the funds and we are not sure that the ministry is going to be assisting them any at all. If you understand what these people are going through, they have to move everybody from that building and then cram them in the other building and if you saw the flooring of the other building you would see that it is not safe. This is not the only school that has bat infestation down south. We went to Bella Vista and we had the same thing, we heard about teachers further south who have the same issues, they have to be going to school everyday. It is a health hazard so I don’t know if it is that we can get to the point that these schools can be properly repaired so that teachers and students don’t have to go through this issue but it seems as though finance is an issue. I am hoping that the management and the ministry can work something out that they can be able to assist because it is not the teacher’s responsibility to be finding the funds to be fixing these buildings.”
Smith says that they are hoping businesses in the area or anywhere across the country will be willing to help Holy Angel. The Union will continue to dialogue with all involved parties because the safety of the faculty, staff and students are of utmost concern. We will continue following the situation at Holy Angel as it develops.