Eagle Hall Primary will likely be unable to open its doors on the first day of the school year, the Government said this afternoon on its yearly race to spruce up the nation’s schools.
The extent of refurbishment work at the urban school “may make it impossible for that institution to welcome students in time for the start of the term” on September 10, said the Ministry of Education in a release.
“The time frame and the amount of work left to be done may not allow those schools to be ready in time,” said Acting Minister of Education Senator Lucille Moe.
“We have to wait a little longer and see how far within the next two weeks the contractors are able to get [in completing] the work. Certainly Eagle Hall [Primary] will be one of those schools and so we will be monitoring that situation closely to see if we will be able to make any kind of adjustments in regard to that situation.
“Whatever money that has been made available for this refurbishment we will ensure it is provided to the contractors so they can complete the work,” the minister said.
“Most of the island’s schools should be ready to open their doors to students at the start of the new school term,” the statement said.
The news came as Acting Minister of Education Senator Lucille Moe joined the top brass of the ministry of a tour of schools across the island.
Standing in for ailing minister Santia Bradshaw who has begun treatment for breast cancer, Senator Moe was joined by Parliamentary Secretary Senator Dr Romel Springer, Permanent Secretary Janet Phillips, and Chief Education Officer Karen Best.
The officials assessed the progress of repairs being carried out, then declared that most of the schools should be ready when school opens on Monday, September 10.
“Some of the schools are almost ready; they still have some way to go. I think the contractors are trying to complete what is left outstanding. Certainly, money is always a concern and Government is trying to ensure they can provide the funding to the contractors so that they can get the jobs completed,” Senator Moe said.
The refurbishment works included replacing tiles, windows and counter tops; repairing roofs and ceilings; and ridding school buildings of mould, which was due to the schools’ location, she said.
Most of the problems could be rectified with proper maintenance, the minister said.
The Acting Education Minister urged pupils to take care of their school when they returned in September.
“I would say to students that it is their school and to be proud of their school and to make sure the environments they will find themselves in every day are maintained to an acceptable standard. I would also like to appeal to the parents to speak to their children at home and ensure that they impress on them the need for them to take care of their schools and [have] pride in their surroundings,” she said. (BT/BGIS)