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L’Aventure Secondary gutted by fire- affected students to restart classes on Monday

Ms. Althea Stuart (in dark blue suit), Headmistress of the L’Aventure Secondary School and Chief Education Officer Olato Sam (with red tie) and other teachers making alternative arrangements for students of the school (GINA photo)

Preparations have begun to temporarily house students of L’Aventure Secondary School which was severely damaged by fire Wednesday morning, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.

The Administrative Department, Home Economics Department and the auditorium were destroyed by the blaze suspected to be of electrical origin.

At least 700 students have been displaced from the school located in the village of L’Heureuse Adventure, Canal No. 1, West Bank Demerara. Its annex which accommodates the Grade Seven students numbering 134 was not affected.

laventure fireChief Education Officer (CEO) Olato Sam who was on the scene explained that the fire began around 07.30 hrs when just a few students were around, however they were not in the building. Teachers who were present were in the process of gathering information about the fire. “We are leaving it to the experts to assess what has started the fire.” However, a fire official on the scene said from information received, the source may have been in the Headmistress’s office.

Sam confirmed that the fire did begin in the Administrative block which accommodates several classes. “The Fire Service has done a pretty good job in containing it in that area only,” he said.

The Administrative Department houses records of the school and students and the process of tabulating what is missing is being conducted

Alternate arrangements are being made to house the students and parents and all stakeholders of the school met at the La Grange Primary School this afternoon. Sam stated that Regional and Education officers will meet to work out the logistics, and that the Ministries of Education and Local Government will work together to address the repairs in the shortest possible time to ensure that children can get back to their education.

It was agreed that a private property offered for use by a resident Kamal Singh and which is located next to the Canal Number One Health Centre would be used in the short-term. An inspection conducted by the Regional Administration, and the headteacher and staff of the School, indicates that Singh’s building has the capacity to accommodate the 17 displaced classrooms.

Students from Grades 8 to 11 will restart classes on Monday, September 9 at the venue while the 134, Grade 7 students will continue classes tomorrow in the annex.

On Saturday, all stakeholders will chip in and make Singh’s building habitable for classes to re-commence on Monday

“We have had this kind of situation before and we have an existing modus operandi where we can recoup what is missing so we can start again,” Sam said.

Less than six months ago a fire of unknown origin broke out in the midst of the National Grade Six Assessment examination at the Parfaite Harmonie Primary School, West Bank Demerara. About 80 students were sitting the exam when one of the students saw smoke and alerted the invigilators who immediately sent them out of the building. Those students were subsequently able to complete their examinations.