by Krystal Paco
Guam - The Guam Education Board may have made the decision today to relocate Untalan Middle School to Core Tech's facilities in Tiyan by the end of the month, but an inspection this afternoon by the Department of Public Health has fast-tracked the plans because inspectors found so many health and safety violations it prompted the Barrigada campus to be shut down.
So what happens next? Guam Education Board chairperson Francis Santos is reviewing the health and safety violations with DOE superintendent Taling Taitano. He says they will take the concerns from Public Health to the governor to determine the next steps on a workable solution. He is aware there will be no classes for the Barrigada campus tomorrow.
He says the board along with DOE takes full responsibility for the closure, and admits this is not going to be the only school with violations. Santos says the problem is doe's maintenance budget is always shortchanged.
Speaker Judi Won Pat meanwhile says she expected the closure of Untalan Middle School after hearing concerns at the roundtable meeting yesterday from DOE consultant Sodexo and agency officials, and considering Governor Calvo had already signed the amended lease agreement with Core Tech. Won Pat says she did visit the school last year and wonders why Untalan is being singled out considering other schools are just as critical and questions are they going to shut them down as well.
She believes the problems facing our schools are not insurmountable and feels the community should come together to address some of these issues. She says the biggest questions is finding the money to rebuild or rehabilitate Untalan Middle School in order for it to reopen.