Education Minister comments on secret video

Education Minister, Doctor Robert Lewis, has suggested that a secret video purportedly taken of a leaking classroom at the Dennery Infant school, may be an attempt to gain political mileage.

Lewis disclosed that he was made aware of the video this morning by the Press Secretary to the Prime Minister.

He explained that the claim was that the video had been shot at the Dennery primary school.

However Lewis said he questioned the Chief Education Officer about the matter, asking how that could be the case since the primary school had recently been refurbished in the sum of about 1.2 million dollars.

“I found that strange,” Lewis asserted.

He recalled that the Chief Education Officer informed him that the issue might be with the Dennery Infant school.

The Education Minister said:

“I know that the Dennery Infant school has had problems and anybody who knows when I came into polittics in 2007, the first issue I addressed was the Micoud Infant school which was in a deplorable state and when I became Minister that school was dealt with.”

He said there was a plan to rebuild the Dennery Infant school, with a contract having been signed today for rebuilding the institution next to the Police station.

Lewis, who is MP for Castries South said:

“What I find strange though is that there is a video going around and there is an MP in Dennery South. Not for once has Mr. Edmund Estaphane ever called me as a Minister or said to me in the House of Assembly ‘Minister when what’s happening with the school?’”

Asserting that there may be political overtones to the posting of the video, Lewis felt that the wrong things are being done for Saint Lucia.

“We are pretending that we want to use politics for everything,” he said, adding : “We need to stop this!”

Recalling that he was shadow minister of education for five years, the Castries South MP said never once did he make an issue about the deplorable state of schools because he understood that whatever government it was, spent millions trying to refurbish school plants  which are some 50 to 60 years old.

“If we are so interested in our schools, when the government speaks about raising funds to put in into schools, the very people complain that they don’t want to pay taxes,” the Minister declared.

According to him, under the government, whether SLP or UWP, education has received a lot of attention.

Nevertheless the minister noted that a lot needs to be done.