Hutt Valley High students are set to protest outside Parliament today after having to learn in leaky, mouldy buildings as students have been forced to learn from home after unsafe levels of mould were detected.
Head girl Charlotte Leach and head boy Patrick Maslen, who are both in year 13, say the school has reached a “crisis” point and they have endured miserable learning conditions.
“A systemic lack of funding in education and infrastructure” is behind the failing, Maslen says. Leach says students are just “tenants” in the school. meaning they have no power to do anything in a building they “do not own”.
Both describe classrooms as being like “a prison” — with no insulation or ventilation — and being “cold and musty and not a place anyone would want to be”.
“In winter it’s freezing, definitely not the modern-learning environment by any stretch of the imagination,” Leach says.
“No one was shocked when they found out there were unsafe levels of mould,” Maslen adds.
Today was set to be a distance learning day for year 13 students. They have decided to do their distance learning from Parliament to protest the dire conditions.
They planned to meet at 9.50am outside Wellington Train Station and march together to be at Parliament at 10am “and we are just going to be doing our schoolwork from there”.
“Just to demonstrate how much we need to be in class and how much of a disadvantage we are at by being sent home,” Leach says.
“We shouldn’t be in this position, it could and should have been avoided.”