Glen Laing, football coach at St Jago High School, has described the pitch at Calabar High as “a beautiful surface”.Laing, who directed St Jago to a 1-0 victory over the host team in Group G of the ISSA-FLOW Manning Cup last Friday, says he’d play at Calabar every day.His Calabar counterpart, Ligyasu Simms, believes the plush surface will help his team in the seasons to come.”It is nice when the schoolboys can train on the proper surface,” pronounced the St Jago coach after the game. “It is also exciting for us to take them out and train them.”St Jago’s Monk Street playing field has been out of service for several months because of a work programme to rehabilitate it. In those circumstances, it was a joy for St Jago to visit Calabar’s Red Hills Road campus.”It’s just a beautiful surface. They’re taking care of it and I really appreciate coming down here.”Simms feels the same way.”Millions of dollars were spent on this surface, and it is a good surface for good football, and as you can see, the Calabar team executed some good football today, but unfortunately it just didn’t go in our favour,” he commented.Without giving up on the current schoolboy season, Simms thinks the improved surface will help Calabar’s football in the future.”This is the start of the programme and it can only get better as we go along,” he predicted.
Health threat at schoolAlthough students of the Diamond Secondary School — in Second Avenue, Diamond Housing Scheme, EBD — are reportedly being sold contaminated food, the Education Ministry, in a statement to this publication, disclosed that nothing can be done to address the issue until an official complaint has been received by the School’s Board of Governors.The Ministry disseminated this statement one day after the Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) of the school complained bitterly of the issues affecting the children there.While the Ministry acknowledged that it had indeed received a letter from the PTA in regard to the matter, it said, “A letter was prepared by the School Board Coordinator of the Ministry of Education advising the PTA of the school to shareThe Diamond Secondary Schoolthe concerns with the School’s Board of Governors.”According to the Ministry, the letter detailing the issues was also directed to the School’s Board of Governors, which to date has not responded. The Ministry is adamant that the issue cannot be addressed until an official complaint has been filed by the School’s Board of Governors.The disgruntled members of the PTA recently penned a letter to this publication expressing grave concern about the present health threats existing at the institution.The PTA is threatening to take legal action — and even protest action — as the body believes the students are being exposed to harm, and even diseases, as food which is being sold to the children is allegedly contaminated.They are also complaining about parapets which have been destroyed – a situation which bothers parents who wish to park their vehicles as they await their children; and the non-highlighting of speed bumps in the streets, which results in great inconvenience to both drivers and pedestrians.They claim that several letters have been sent to the Education, Communities, Public Infrastructure and Public Health ministries, but their complaints have always been ignored.The PTA threatened: “If no action is taken by your Government, we shall initiate protest action, starting at the UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and PAHO (Pan American Health Organisation) office, and we shall be meeting shortly with our attorney…to explore legal remedies.”According to the PTA members, relevant letters were sent to the various ministries before the beginning of the new school term in September. In one of the letters, addressed to Education Minister Nicolette Henry and seen by Guyana Times, the PTA complained of the food vendors who sell outside the school’s compound.The body stressed: “Since 2011, at PTA meetings, we have repeatedly raised the issue of the school’s administration allowing vendors to sell food items over the front drain of our school to children.”It was explained that parents are especially concerned as there is a septic tank which drains sewage directly into that very drain which is in front of the school.The PTA members are now calling on UNICEF and PAHO representatives to visit the school to get a first-hand look at the issues affecting the students.They are even calling for the Head Mistress (HM) and teachers to be investigated, as they accused the head teacher of accepting money from the vendors to sell outside the school’s premises.