PRESS RELEASE:–A programme of preventative maintenance in schools is being seen as the best way forward in dealing with the extremely high cost of repairs needed at schools on the island yearly.
This view was expressed by Minister for Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development Hon. Dr. Gale Rigobert, at the start of an island wide tour of schools on the island recently.
Dr. Rigobert says the Ministry of Education is in the process of putting together a comprehensive rehabilitation plan for schools for the next few years. However, she said this will be no cheap undertaking because of the gap between what is required and what the government is able to accomplish.
I understand that at the last fiscal cycle, when the audit of schools’ infrastructure was done, the estimated cost of the rehabilitation schools on the island hovered around EC $13 Million; the amount allocated in the 2016/2017 budget was EC $1 Million,” the Education Minister said after touring schools on the East Coast and in the South of the island.
Dr. Rigobert said she has received a detailed report on the state of school-infrastructure on the island and says she is particularly concerned about the issue of health and safety and the serious problem of mold and termites.
“It is important that we have a longer term plan and not just the few week preceding the re-opening of school, you rush to nail a few boards and paint a few blackboards. There are more detailed needs that require our attention. There are instances where entire blocks have to be demolished and rebuilt,” Dr. Rigobert said.
The New Minister for Education has meantime thanked principals and teachers as well as parent and students for their patience and requested their continued support in addressing the infrastructural issues of schools on the island.