Gibbons: Unacceptable Two Schools Not Ready

September 8, 2010

Dr Grant Gibbons, Shadow Minister for Education, spoke out about the maintenance issues at two Government schools calling it “unacceptable” that two schools are not ready to receive students for the start of the new year, saying the “two-month summer break should give Government adequate time to get into the buildings and effect repairs.”

While numerous school students across the island started school today and yesterday, Clearwater Middle School’s opening will be delayed to Friday due to maintenance issues at the school, and Paget Primary also has been hindered by the school not being completely ready.

A hallway at Clearwater School yesterday

A hallway at Clearwater School yesterday

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Pointing out that “manpower should not have been an issue given the high number of unemployed construction workers,” Dr Gibbons continued on to say that “It is essential for the Government to lead by example, particularly in education. Failure to meet deadlines, failure to get things done on time sets a poor example for children to follow, not to mention shortchanging our students of critical class time.”

Dr Gibbon’s full statement is below:

It is unacceptable that two schools are not ready to receive students for the start of the new year after the long summer break.

The two-month summer break should give Government adequate time to get into the buildings and effect repairs and maintenance. And in this case, construction work can be lined-up in advance, as the Ministry knows precisely when schools will be vacated for the summer.

It should be a well-understood window of opportunity with schools working closely with the Government to maximize the time available to get work completed on time.

The Education Minister, whose role is to provide principals and teachers with the resources and support they need to ensure a satisfactory learning environment, needs to explain why this situation has happened.

When did he know the schools would not be ready on time?

And when he found out, what additional steps were taken to address the problem. Manpower should not have been an issue given the high number of unemployed construction workers.

It is essential for the Government to lead by example, particularly in education. Failure to meet deadlines, failure to get things done on time sets a poor example for children to follow, not to mention shortchanging our students of critical class time.

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