Over the past couple years many parents and students have been complaining about the poor state of the nation’s schools, especially when it comes to the lack of chairs, desks, black boards, chalks and other supplies. But criticism has also been leveled when it comes to the overall physical integrity of some institutions that some claim are not suitable for comfortable learning.
The Ministry of Education however is now indicating that with the assistance of the Public Works Department, efforts are ongoing to effect renovations to enhance the learning environment.
The Minister of Education stated that in various schools some of the classrooms have been completely renovated including new tiles and roofs. To address drainage problems in one of the schools the school grounds were completely paved. Other schools have been recently painted.
Ongoing work is being done to the bathrooms which Minister Nigel Carty assured will be maintained once completed.
Carty said There are many students on a daily basis visiting the bathrooms and sometimes because of how they use them, they breakdown very quickly. “But this comprehensive programme of school improvements is geared towards ensuring that we have the proper infrastructure in place so that our students are comfortable…” stated Carty.
He said they are going to be establishing a maintenance team to ensure that the state of maintenance in which they have put the schools will be maintained.
The minister indicated that his ministry and Public Works have also worked together to ensure that every public high school student has a desk and chair which has so far provided a more comfortable environment for the students.
The Minister of Education along with other education officials and officials of the Public Works Department headed by Permanent Secretary Lenrick Lake recently made their way to 12 schools to inspect the progress of the renovations.
During their visits to Washington Archibald High, Cayon High, Saddlers Secondary, Charles E. Mills Secondary and Verchild’s High, some three-thousand pieces of furniture were officially handed over.
Minister Carty stated that while “children will be children” they are encouraged to take care of the furniture and also urged parents to help them understand the value of the new desks and chairs.
“The school is a very rough and tough environment where students interact with each other, play hard and sometimes damage the furniture,” said Minister Carty. “While we have to allow them to be children, to play and do what children do we also want to encourage them and their parents to instil in them the value of taking care of what we were providing.”
Other schools that were visited included Estridge Primary, Saddlers Primary, Dieppe Bay Primary, St. Paul’s Day Care, Newton Ground Primary and Tyrell Williams Primary.