Parents fight to keep school open

Make text smaller Make text larger

  • Students, staff , PTA members and friends of Gilbert Institute make their feelings know about the possible closure of their school. (Photograph by David Skinner)

    Students, staff , PTA members and friends of Gilbert Institute make their feelings know about the possible closure of their school. (Photograph by David Skinner)

  • Students, staff , PTA members and friends of Gilbert Institute make their feelings know about the possible closure of their school. (Photograph by David Skinner)

    Students, staff , PTA members and friends of Gilbert Institute make their feelings know about the possible closure of their school. (Photograph by David Skinner)


With the Gilbert Institute facing possible closure, the school’s Parent Teacher Association has suggested a new cost-cutting measure.

“We’ve come up with an idea that the parents can help with the facilities,” PTA secretary Suzanne DeCouto said. “If there’s a leak in the roof or electricity issues, we have parents who can fix it.”

Ms DeCouto spoke to The Royal Gazette at a demonstration to keep the Paget school open, after the recently released school reorganisation (Score) report identified it as one of four primary schools that could shut.

Heron Bay Primary School, Prospect Primary School and St David’s Primary School are also under threat from the report, which considered criteria such as safety and accessibility, building condition, school utilisation, classroom capacity and financial resources.

Yesterday morning’s rally held outside Modern Mart in Paget saw dozens of protesters unite for the cause.

Passing motorists honked in support of parents, teachers, children and supporters of the school, who hoisted banners carrying slogans such as “Think Smart, Save Gilbert” and “I Am Bermuda’s Future”.

Ms DeCouto said: “It’s been amazing — the number of people who have come out to help us get the word out about how important our school is to us and the community.”

However, she criticised the Government for failing to provide legitimate reasons to shut Gilbert Institute.

“They haven’t approached us, and we have no concrete idea exactly why they want to close the school,” she said. “We’d like to know — have they found someone to buy the land?”

PTA president Claire Percy praised the demonstration’s “fantastic turnout”, adding: “We would really like to get the message across that we are a community.

“Our school is important to us and to the children, and we’re going to stand together as a united front.”

Nine-year-old student Dominique Brown said she would be “really sad” if Gilbert Institute were to shut.

“All the children who come to this school love it and love the teachers too,” she said. “If we had to move to another school, we would have to leave behind all the memories we made here.”

Umai Santucci, 10, said the rally had been “beautiful”.

“I would feel mad if the school shut, but I’m happy because everyone is out here to support Gilbert Institute,” she added.

Christopher Pitcher, 11, said: “Our school is the best school I have ever been to, and I love meeting my friends there.

“I would ask the Government to please think of the children, and all the adults. We’ve got to leave our schools open.”

You must be registered or signed-in to post comment or to vote.

Published Feb 25, 2016 at 12:01 am (Updated Feb 25, 2016 at 6:45 am)

Parents fight to keep school open

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon

  • Take Our Poll

    Today's Obituaries

    eMoo Posts