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2005-09-28 14:39:52

Andros Parents Demand Opening Of Preschool

Minister of Education Alfred Sears was not aware that the teacher promised for that particular school has been sent to San Salvador.

Approximately 46 preschoolers registered to attend the government preschool on South Andros are still without a teacher and some parents on that island are upset that their toddlers are still not in school a month after the fall semester started.

According to an official at the Long Bay Cays Primary School, the three and four-year- olds were supposed to start school after two of the three buildings on that campus were refurbished.

But with the buildings nearing completion officials have reportedly been informed that the teacher promised for that particular school has been sent to San Salvador.

Minister of Education Alfred Sears told The Bahama Journal on Tuesday that he was not aware of the situation.

The preschool dilemma on South Andros comes as the Ministry of Education faces many other concerns at public schools like the teacher-parent dispute at the Lowe Sound Primary School in Central Andros, and various protests by teachers demanding the completion of repairs at several public schools throughout the country.

Dianne Feliz, one South Andros parent, told The Bahama Journal it's unfair that two of her children who are at the preschool age have no school to attend.

"I think it is very poor because from last year they were letting us know that the preschool would be opened," Mrs. Feliz said.

"[I] already got my children prepared and the same thing this year and nothing is being done," she claimed

"When I went to the school they told me to bring the children back in late October and I hear that they are telling some of the other parents when the [preschool teacher] comes down [the preschool would be open]."

Carol McKinney, a mother in the Bluff, South Andros, also expressed disappointed that the preschool has not be opened.

"Right now to be paying school fees is hard sometimes, especially since I had purchased school uniforms for my son since last term," Mrs. McKinney said.

"I was told that within the next two weeks the pre-school should be open or as soon as the preschool director comes down, but I'm simply tired."

Other parents on South Andros said despite the delay, they would wait until the preschool is opened.

Kizzy Brown, who also has two toddlers, said that both of her children were prepared for school.

"My three-year-old was not accepted," Ms. Brown said.

"But I was told by teachers that my four-year-old could be added to the list. I am just waiting and praying for the school to open up."

Melanie Greene, a secretary at the Kemp's Bay High School, said that for the time being she has enrolled her son in the only privately run preschool in the district.

"I took my son to The Little Disciple Preschool in Deep Creek," Mrs. Green said.

"I am not frustrated because I understand the Long Bay Cays building is being used for the primary school students because that is the only space available to hold the older kids."

Shelia Forbes, a custodial worker at Long Bay Cays Primary School, said that while her granddaughter is not one of the preschool children missing school, she understands the struggle of the other parents.

By: Royanne Forbes, The Bahama Journal

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