[WATCH] Pitiful Victoria primary school has parents worried for children’s safety

A 160-year-old building that is falling to bits is not fit to be a school

Victoria primary school in Gozo is in a pitiful state
Victoria primary school in Gozo is in a pitiful state
Victoria primary school is in a dismal state

The Victoria primary school describes itself as a ‘Happy School’ because students enjoy going there thanks to the beautiful atmosphere created by school staff.

But the positive attitude of educators is not matched by the 160-year-old building that houses the school.

Shocking photos have emerged of the poor state the school is in and parents are worried. They fear the building has become a health and safety hazard for children.

From dislodged soffit panels in a classroom to exposed rusty metal bars in the schoolyard, from eroding walls to broken tiles, the school building is simply not fit for purpose.

David Grech is a member of the school council, representing parents, and has two children who attend the school. He told MaltaToday he fears for the children’s safety.

Sewage overflowed inside the school once again this week
Sewage overflowed inside the school once again this week

Only this week, he added, there was the umpteenth sewage overflow within the premises.

Grech insisted the children were happy attending the school but a general lack of maintenance was now a serious cause for concern.

Government has pledged to build a new primary school in Victoria but there has been no visible progress on the building. Meanwhile, maintenance work on the existing school have been abandoned with the excuse being that a new school was in the offing.

“This is not the fault of the school administration or the educators. They are doing their best within the circumstances but the new school is nowhere to be seen yet and this building is unfit to be a school,” Grech said.

The building has historical value, which also limits the type of interventions that can be done and it is also small in relation to the student population.

“The school is overcrowded to the point that the hall has been turned into classrooms to accommodate students. The school has to hold its activities outside the premises as a result,” Grech noted.

Exposed, rusty metal bars pose a hazard
Exposed, rusty metal bars pose a hazard

He is not the only parent who is concerned. Others who spoke to MaltaToday said they were worried.

“Children are happy coming to school but the building is more than 100 years old and not suitable for modern day needs, apart from being dangerous in some aspects,” a parent who preferred to remain anonymous said. He insisted it was unfair for the education authorities to continue postponing remedial works on the building when the new school has been delayed for years.

Initial plans to build a new primary school in Victoria were opposed by some residents because it would have replaced an open space adjacent to Villa Rundle.

According to the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools website, the new primary school would cater for 400 students and should have started to be used in the last scholastic year.
 

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