Press Release:- Government’s investment of some ten million EC dollars in the refurbishment of several school on the island is said to have significantly reduced the problems experienced by school as far as infrastructural issues are concerned.
The annual allocation of just over One Million Dollars for the repair of schools on the island for years has proven insufficient to alleviate the infrastructural issues of the large number of schools which require repair.
As such, this year, government invested ten times the usual amount to ensure the comfort of student and teachers alike ahead of the reopening of school.
Minister with responsibility for Education Hon. Dr. Gale Rigobert said while there is still work to be done, the ten million dollars allocated has been stretched well in improving 80 percent of structural issues in schools.
“Let me thank everyone who has been involved in delivering this rehabilitation programme. I think across the island, the students and teachers are reasonably pleased. Admittedly, and I have said it before, ten million dollars only represents a quarter of what it is estimated that we would need to bring every school on island to an acceptable standard, but that injection of ten million has gone a long way to bring some relief to our teachers and students,” said the Minister.
One school in particular, the Micoud Primary School, encountered some issues with lingering paint fumes in a few classrooms and caused some parent to express their concern and even pull their children out of the school.
However, School Principal Fern Dornelly said remedial arrangements have been sought to house affected students.
“I want to categorically say that we will not be housing the students upstairs of which the parents were concerned about. We will ensure that no student is allowed on that block from tomorrow.
We had works done on most of our blocks. We have four blocks in total and three are totally refurbished from the inside to the outside. We have freshly painted walls, we have new ceilings, new furniture, new light bulbs, and electoral works done. We have a new school and for that we are very grateful,” said Ms. Dornelly.
The Education Minister, as has been her custom on the first day of class, visited several schools to witness first hand the work accomplished, and to greet teachers and students to wish them well in the new academic year.
She addressed the assembly of the Gros Islet Secondary, noting the school’s recent successes in CXC CSEC and its elevation to a Center of Excellence for Sports.
“We remain committed to ensuring that all our graduates are exposed to some core subjects but that they also have the option of pursuing certain subject areas; be it in the area of sport with respect to the Gros Islet Secondary school and with respect to the Anse Ger Secondary School in the area of Creative Arts and Culture,” Dr. Rigobert said.
The minister says the remaining work on school will be accomplished utilizing weekends and the upcoming Christmas break. She expressed her satisfaction with her tour of schools and disclosed that Monday’s meeting of Cabinet Ministers was suspended to allow Cabinet MPs a chance to visit schools within their districts.