The grounds at Alexandrina Maduro Primary School were empty last week after the school unexpectedly closed following reports of students feeling unwell. School officials said the school reopened on Oct. 12. (Photo: DANA KAMPA)

Based on reports of a “significant number of students” feeling unwell, government closed Alexandrina Maduro Primary School in Baughers Bay on Oct. 6, according to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports.

The ministry explained that it had received a report of illnesses three days earlier and immediately contacted the Ministry of Health and Social Development for further assessment.

Two days later, the MHSD identified “several areas of concern,” according to an MECYAS press release issued Oct. 6. The release did not specify the type of illness that affected students, though school officials confirmed that the school had reopened on Oct. 12.

“The report recommends the immediate closure of the school to remedy the identified issues,” the release stated.

AMPS officials declined to comment further, and attempts to reach ECYAS Minister Sharie De Castro were not successful.

Meanwhile, students transitioned to online learning on Oct. 6 until the reopening, according to the ministry.

“The Ministry of Education is working feverishly to address the matters highlighted in the report and will do everything possible to ensure that this period of online learning is not prolonged,” the release stated, requesting that parents do their best to facilitate learning at home. “We recognise that this change will create some inconvenience; however, we must ensure that the health and safety of our students and teachers are paramount.”

ASPS closure

Schools in the territory were already being taxed with the closure of Althea Scatliffe Primary in June that displaced more than 300 students.

While those students were redistributed to other primary schools, Enis Adams Primary was still in the midst of completing construction on its second floor as part of efforts to accommodate the ASPS overflow.

At the upper level, construction on Elmore Stoutt High School’s two new classroom blocks continues. Officials had hoped new buildings would be ready to receive students in September, but the date was pushed to October at the earliest due to a delay in the shipment of supplies.