Cyprus Mail

Parents of run down Larnaca school stage protest

Parents of pupils at the Ayios Lazarus primary school in Larnaca staged a protest on Tuesday morning during to highlight the problems of the ageing building.

Gathering outside the school at 7.45am, the parents said the building is in poor condition and should be demolished. Apart from this, there is not a proper fence, no shelter for the children and the yard floods when it rains.

The parents also reported that due to the lack of heating and air conditioning the classrooms are freezing cold in winter and unbearably hot in the summer.

“Today we have gathered to present the problems our children face in this school every day,” president of the parents association Chrysostomos Christodoulou said. “The building was built 50 years ago and hasn’t had any seismic upgrading, and we are calling for works which were approved several years ago to start immediately for a safe building for our children. We do not accept any more delays by the various authorities.”

He said the problems started a long time ago and explained the responsible authorities visited the school and conducted studies to make the building earthquake resistant and decided that the building “is inappropriate, must be demolished and a new one must be built. This was done in 2011, the budget was approved, the plans were presented in 2012, but nothing has happened since then.”

He said the lack of fencing means people are able to enter the school yard and walk around without having to pass through the building. He said the fencing that is present has been placed there temporarily by a contractor laying tennis courts behind the school and was erected so children cannot enter the construction site.

“I have been at the school for 14 years and the building has remained unchanged. We have sent too many letters and we have had many meetings with the responsible authorities without any results. The last letter we sent to the responsible bodies was in December 2017 and we have not received any answer,” Maria Souridou-Tsaridou, Vice-President of the association, added.

This is a historic school, she pointed out, but because of the problems fewer and fewer children attend. While in the past it had about 300 students there are now only 160.

The school’s management, contacted by the Cyprus News Agency, declined to comment.

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