Government is hoping that in another five years or shortly thereafter, that all the nursery school needs of Barbados will be met.
Working within the framework of UN’s Education for All initiative which speaks to certain education landmarks, Minister of Education Ronald Jones said today that the six nursery schools planned for development by the Maria Holder Trust will do just that.
Although the first school at Gall Hill #2, Christ Church, is scheduled to begin to start soon with a completion timeline of 18 months, Jones expressed the hope that shortly after the 2015 deadline established by the UN for the completion of the goals, that Barbados would have hit its own mark.
“Under the Millennium Development Goals and Education For All initiative which comes to an end in 2015, so we are talking about post-2015 endeavours, we are hopeful that if not around 2015, maybe thereafter based on how these schools are rolled out, we should be able to say that we have either completely dealt with our early childhood age cohort, or we are a little way from achieving that.
“I suspect that we are not going to be able to satisfy it by 2015, because that was a mandate coming out of COSOD, the CARICOM body, to deal with early childhood education. Barbados is progressing quite well and it is as a result of the intervention and activity of the Maria Holder Memorial Trust that we are going to be able to say to the country and to COSOD that we would have satisfied our agenda,” said the minister.
In addition to the Christ Church-based nursery, there are also plans for two in St. James at Holders Hill and St. Albans, one in St. Philip at Oldbury and another at Sayers Court, Christ Church.
He said the first site at Gall Hill was more than adequate at 61,500 feet to satisfy the needs of the roll of 120 to 150 students expected to occupy that school.
There was also the possibility, he said, that there could be a day nursery at the location in time as well.
While there were no immediate plans to site any additional schools further into the north of the island, Jones said there would have to be “mapping” to see if the population demand up north warranted more institutions of the sort there. (LB)