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Fire at St. Andrew’s Anglican Primary School

The fire as it raged on Saturday night at the primary school in St Andrew

The St. Andrew’s Anglican Primary School is almost in ruins following a fire on the night of October 13, which destroyed part of the building, mainly the office of the Principal.

This incident comes just days after the President of the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT) Jude Bartholomew went on Facebook live to express his concerns following the continuous vandalism at the school which was temporarily relocated from Grenville Town to Progress Park in 2022.

The institution has been targeted by certain elements with multiple reports and videos circulating of vandalism especially missing school supplies and other valuables.

Minister for Education David Andrew who visited on Saturday expressed his concern about the recent struggles that the school has been undergoing and gave his government’s commitment to guarantee minimal delay in the continuation of school activities.

The minister expressed his concern that this disheartening incident will have negatively affected the staff, parents, and students of the Primary school.

He noted that in light of the incident both October 16 and October 17 were dedicated to offering psychosocial support to the affected staff and students.

He disclosed that the entire counseling staff at the Ministry of Education would be redirected to aid the staff and students for maximum support.

According to the senior government minister, there is a lot going on with the school coupled with what they have been dealing with over the last few weeks.

“So we know that they probably have a lot of things pent up and we want to give them the opportunity to ventilate. At the end of the day, this hurts the students and I could imagine the teachers cringing. All of the teaching aids and all of the things that they’ve stored gone up in flames,” he said.

Minister Andrew pointed out that government will have to start the process to explore options for relocation and that a meeting has already been set to finalise relocation options for the school and the debriefing sessions.

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He said that once those things are finalised they would inform the principal and she would be able to contact the school community and guide them accordingly.

The minister acknowledged that even though some of the buildings have been preserved “you can tell lots of things will be dysfunctional and the area will not be the best psychologically friendly space for them even though the buildings may look to be somewhat intact.”

“We want to minimise loss of instructional time and so the Ministry of Education will work feverishly to minimise this,” he said.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Andall who was also part of the touring party sought to reassure the community of St. Andrew that the government is working to get things back together to secure temporary accommodation for the classrooms that have been destroyed.

He said the government is fully committed to ensuring that the school returns to normal functioning as soon as possible.

He commended the Fire Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) for the prompt response in bringing the fire under control and praised the residents of the area for their lending hand in the effort to fight the fire.

“We are confident that out of the ashes, something bigger and better will come to the community surrounding the St Andrew’s Anglican School,” he said.

The minister stated that government was waiting on a report from RGPF to determine if the fire was due to arson or an accident.

The GUT President who also visited the school compound on Saturday morning noted that it is not an easy situation to know that the government and the Ministry of Education had made moves to put things in place and were really trying to address the vandalism situation before it went up in flames.

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