MoE closes half day due to water situation – after bullying us to work full day under same conditions, teacher complains

A teacher is reporting that, since last week, the Ministry of
Education has been closing at 12 noon because there is no running
water in the building, and complaining that her colleagues and
students were not afforded the same consideration.

“They close at 12 p.m. daily if there is no water,” she says. “What
bothers me is that we [were] not given that kind of luxury on the
school plant.”

While the public schools were routinely out of running water during
the last academic year, the woman says, the Ministry of Education
did all it could to pressure teachers into conducting a full day’s
worth of classes and remaining on the compounds.

This “bullying,” she says, went against the agreement the Ministry
has with the Teachers Union – that is, if there is no water on the
premises by the first break, the Fire Department should be called for
a delivery, or school should be dismissed.

However, to get around this, the teacher claims that Education
officials would tell the principal that a water truck was already on its
way to the affected school.

On other occasions, she says the principal might be told that the
truck was at the Crabbs Reverse Osmosis facility waiting to be filled.
But because the line was long, the school should allow it some time –
at least until midday – to get there.

Given the accommodation that is being made now for staff at the
Ministry, the woman says she cannot understand why “grown
people get to go home while the children (students) must stay in an
unhealthy environment.”

Reports say that quite a number of government department and
agencies are operating on half-day schedules, at present, on account
of the lack of running water, mold infestation, or poor air quality.

In addition to the Ministry of Education, the Antigua & Barbuda
Electoral Commission is on shortened hours, while sources allege
that departments in “Legal Affairs, Aviation and APUA, among
others,” are similarly affected.