Most school plants will be ready to be reopened when the 2019-2020 school term begins next month.
However, Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training Santia Bradshaw said that some schools will remain closed due to challenges contractors working around the clock have encountered along the way.
She said this year about 41 schools were targeted under the domestic summer programme.
“I can assure the public that the majority of the schools will be opened for the new September term on time. But I did say a few weeks ago that we may have had some challenges. Thus far it looks as though that we are in a pretty good position and most of the schools will be able to open.
“There are some however where there may be some difficulties. I must be honest with you that in the past one of the biggest challenges that we had is the lack of a mobilization fund for contractors.
“I have inherited a situation where there is a lack of maintenance over a sustained period in the last couple years and which has resulted in me becoming the minister of closing schools because of rodent infestation,” Bradshaw said during a press conference at the Ministry’s Constitution Road office today.
She indicated that the ministry had already started discussions regarding temporary locations for students and teachers whose schools would not be ready for the start of the school term.
Bradshaw said ministry officials and representatives of teachers’ unions would be touring some of the schools being repaired before the start of the school term.
“We are working on relocations and the public would be made aware in due course. But we are monitoring. The contractors are working with us. I must tell you that from the first meeting that I had which was also unprecedented, because the minister apparently does not meet with the contractors, but I have indicated to them the challenges that we have had in the past, the huge burden that we are facing in terms of being able to open the schools on time and I appealed to them to be able to basically work with them to get the job done,” she said. [email protected]