Minister of Education Ronald Jones has expressed dissatisfaction with work carried out during the Education Sector Enhancement Programme, which was funded by the Government, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and dates back to 2009. It was designed to repair and upgrade the existing school plant, as well as to integrate available information and communication technologies within the school system.
While it was not immediately clear when the work in the multi-million dollar programme was completed, Jones said two years ago after seeing what was done he was not pleased and asked for a list of upgrades needed at secondary schools.
“We had to do some major work during the Education Sector Enhancement Programme. As minister I am very dissatisfied with some of the work that was done. So much so that two years ago I asked our project unit and principals of secondary schools to send us a list of things that needed to be done. I have a four-page list now before me,” lamented Jones as he delivered the weekly Democratic Labour Party Lunchtime lecture at the party’s George Street headquarters in Belleville, St Michael.
He said although the Ministry of Education received 18 to 20 per cent of the national budget, it was simply “not enough” to deal with the problems that popped up in the system throughout the year.
Making reference to problems with termites at one secondary school, Jones said he would have to hire a quantity surveyor
“to go and look at the 21 secondary schools”, excluding Lodge School.