School Category: Girls
In 1826, the British Government granted £194 to build two schools in Arima, one for boys and one for girls. no fees were to be charged and all denominations were to be accepted.
Arima Girls’ Government (A.G.G) was established during the late 1860’s using part of this grant. The student population, mainly of French Creole and Spanish ancestry, numbered approximately two hundred. Its first head teacher Mrs. Reynolds retired in 1888.
Would you believe boys attended this school? Even though there was a school for boys nearby, many boys accompanied their sisters to A.G.G. Some of these men who received primary education here at A.G.G. were Mr. Cecil Walker, Mr. Alfred Lala, Mr. Charles Bain, Mr. Roland Cleveland, Mr. Terrence Noel and others. However, this custom ceased when Mr. Cuthridge from the Ministry of Education, made a thorough examination of the class registers and literally marched them to Arima Boys’ Government School.
A new building was constructed on the site that the Arima Mutual Help Society – The Lodge – occupied.
Through successful negotiations made by Mr. Arnold Thomasos (elected representative of Arima) plans for the construction of the new building were put on the drawing board on the Government’s First Five Year Development Programme in 1956. Construction began in 1959. The building was completed in 1960 to accommodate 500 pupils. During the time of its construction the Infant Department was accommodated at the Community Centre on Anglican Street.
The building was formally opened in either October or November 1960. The principal was Miss Hilary Hollingswort. She spent a very short period in it. Having retired in April 1961. She recalls having spent all her life at this school, except for a short period when she was transferred to D’Abadie Government School.
The Bernard Wing
Throughout the years, extensive renovations were carried out on the main buildings. In 1990, with Mrs. Gloria Bernard as the principal of the school, a section of the old building was replaced by a new concrete wing. Mrs. Bernard was the driving force behind its construction. When she realized that the old building had deteriorated to an extent where repairs could not arrest further decay, she ordered its demolition.
Within months, a new wing was constructed. York Steel Structures donated all the steel for the construction of this new wing. It was formally opened by the Right Honorable A.N.R. Robinson, then Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago on May 21st 1990. This wing now provides accommodation for 180 students in the Infant Department.
Through the years. Other facilities have been added. The old library, a project of Mrs. R. Melville, has been renovated to house Computer Laboratory. An annex comprising an Audio Visual Room for the Infants were added. Construction of the annex was spear-headed by Miss Uline Keith (Prinicipal) in 2001. Mrs. A. Ramsey (Ag. Principal worked assiduously in order to realize its completion 2002.
After Miss Uline Keith’s retirement on April 14 2002, she was succeeded by Mrs. A. Ramsey (V.P/Ag. Principal). The school’s population has since exploded and now accommodates approximately 700 students and thirty-one teachers. In 2017 Principal, Ms. Ursual Thomas-Gittens continues to manage this institution, operating on the guiding principles of Excellence, Holistic Development and Equality.