(CMR) The Ministry of Education has issued a response to an earlier allegation that they have not prioritized the health and safety of the children at the Edna M. Moyle Primary School. The allegations were made in a press release yesterday by The Opposition Leader and North Side MLA Ezzard Miller.
The story went up earlier this afternoon and the government has now issued the following response:
Astroturf: Edna M. Moyle Primary School
The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture, and Lands, as well as the Department of Education Services, collaborates with a range of stakeholders to help ensure that all government schools are provided with the necessary resources within the approved budget.
In reference to the Astroturf purchased by a donor for the Edna M. Moyle Primary School, the Ministry was advised that the company that developed the material have indicated that it is not suitable for outside use (it is an indoor Astroturf) and that it will not drain properly causing water to settle. The Ministry has also been advised that the material will become white and chalky potentially leading to health and safety concerns for our students.
While there may be ways to mitigate the drainage issues in the short term, the health and safety of our students is of utmost importance and we would not want to run the risk of the potential mitigation strategies failing based on what the company has stated. This could also lead to additional costs of having to remove the turf shortly after it would have been installed.
In addition, the pitch at the school would need to be cleared and leveled, and the basketball area would need to be modified to facilitate the installation of Astroturf material. This was not a project that was budgeted for in 2018 or 2019. In developing the budget a range of capital projects are considered for schools and the Ministry aims to ensure equity across all the government schools.
A draft plan for fieldwork at the Edna M. Moyle Primary School was developed in consultation with Public Works. The Ministry team will review these plans and consider potential options for the future, again keeping in mind that this work is not included in the current budget.
We look forward to continued collaboration with all education stakeholders as we make improvements to all government schools.
The original story can be read here.