The new Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) government plans to retain contractors currently working at various schools, who were chosen under the previous administration.
Education Minister, Shawn Edward, made the disclosure on Friday as he toured several schools while accompanied by officials from the Department of Education.
The visits to the schools were organised to allow the officials to determine the progress of works ahead of the reopening of schools on September 6.
Edward noted that every year during the summer months, the Ministry of Education embarks on school rehabilitation projects to make the learning environment more comfortable for students.
“We are doing everything within our power to ensure there is no delay. A number of contractors have been engaged and I probably should place on the record that the contractors who are currently working at the various schools were chosen by my predecessor,” the Minister explained to reporters.
And he disclosed that in consultation with Prime Minister, Philip J. Pierre, a decision was taken not to change the contractors.
“We are working with everybody who has been engaged and only in instances where contractors have indicated that they are unable to execute the works, we will consider replacement. But for now, I am satisfied and comfortable with the individuals who have been chosen and it is my intention to give them all the support that they need,” Edward said.
“The Prime Minister has made it a point that as we embark on this new journey as a government, as much as possible we must embrace the whole notion of inclusion to ensure that the most competent people get to the work that is needed, not only in the school system but in any other facet of national development,” the Dennery North MP declared.
Noting the current spike in COVID-19 cases in Saint Lucia and the recent announcement of three confirmed cases of the Delta Variant, he said the Ministry of Education is monitoring the situation very closely and has been in consultation with the Ministry of Health.
In this regard, Edward told reporters that whatever decision is arrived at after thorough discussion with health officials will redound to the benefit of this country’s students.
“The safety of our children is paramount,” the Minister asserted.