by Virgil Leonty
The Government of Saint Lucia has announced that twenty-two schools damaged during Tropical Storm Bret will be renovated in time for the new school year beginning Sep. 4, 2023.
Prime Minister Phillip J. Pierre made the announcement during a Parliament sitting on Tuesday, Aug. 8. He was seeking approval for a transfer from the Consolidated Fund to the Contingency Fund, as mandated by the Public Management Finance Act.
Some of the worst affected schools are in the south of the island, where the storm had the greatest impact.
These included the Mon Gouge Primary, the Dennery Primary and the Vieux Fort Primary. Other schools down for repairs are the Fond St. Jacques Primary, Anse Ger Combined, Ti Rocher Primary, Soufriere Special Ed, Soufriere Secondary, Mongouge Primary, Choiseul Secondary, Vieux Fort Primary, Belle Vue Combined, Anse Ger Primary, Blanchard Combined, and Vieux Fort Post-Secondary.
While not as severely affected as the southern structures, schools located in the north were also not spared the June 22 storm with sustained wind speeds of more than 60 miles per hour. Some of these include Des Barras Combined, Ave Maria Primary, Gros Islet daycare, Vide Bouteille Combined, Gordon and Walcott Primary, Bexon Primary, Soufriere Infant and Soufriere Secondary.
Minister for Education, Sustainable Development Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training Hon. Shawn Edward has assured the public of the timely re-opening of school.
“We are moving with urgency to ensure that schools are ready in time for the beginning of the school year in September,” he said, adding: “The repairs that we will be undertaking will not merely replace what was damaged. We will build back stronger.”
SOURCE: Government Information Service. Headline photo: Stock image.