OBA: School Deficiencies Are Systemic Problem

March 27, 2019

“This report truly underscores the fact that there appears to be no adequate facilities management plans or protocols, in our schools,” Shadow Minister of Education Cole Simons said, adding that “the report demonstrates deficiencies in all of our schools.”

Shadow Minister of Education Cole Simons releases an audio comment regarding the recent Government report into conditions at schools.

Mr. Simons said, “Let me first thank the Government for producing this damning report, and I give the Minister kudos for being transparent, by making this report public.

“Despite the above, it is very clear that this report truly underscores the fact that there appears to be no adequate facilities management plans or protocols, in our schools. Let us be clear, the report demonstrates deficiencies in all of our schools, and as a consequence this is a systemic problem.

“The Ministry of Education and the Department of Public Works have not made these matters a priority as these issues have not been effectively addressed. They have not committed the appropriate resources to ensure that each of our school campuses and facilities are healthy, safe and our students, teachers and other school staff members are not placed at risk from a health and safety perspective.

“The Minister of Education and this Government should – and must – be held accountable.

“They must determine why these ongoing poor custodial standards were not effectively managed by each of our schools, and the Minister’s senior management team , for quite sometime.

“In other words, the real question is why were there was no effective, and ongoing, oversight of the custodial services at each school, and why were resources and support not committed to each school by the Ministry of Education?

“As for the perennial problem of mold, the Government continues to mislead the public by stating that all is in order. They did it last year, and again at the beginning of the school year in September when the Government indicated that the mold in our schools was effectively managed, and that our schools met all health and safety standards.

“As our Minister of Public Works recently indicated in the House of Assembly, our invasive ‘national flower’ [mold] is alive and well. It continues to present itself throughout most of our schools and yet there is no national remediation plan to bring this challenge under control.

“On another matter, it is unconscionable that most schools do not have functioning workplace safety and health committees. In addition, it is unacceptable that the Ministry does not insist upon monthly health and safety inspections and reports. If they insist upon regular and routine administrative or academic reviews, and reports required for each school, the same should apply for health and safety reviews and reports.

“Finally, there is no excuse for the poor management, and noncompliant state of the rudimentary fire safety equipment and devices, and the first aid and medical supplies and protocols at each school.

“This is nothing but administrative negligence and a dereliction of duties. It is just unacceptable.

“Hopefully, with the current Educational Strategic Plan 2022, and its priority in regards to our schools and their physical plants, these issues will finally be addressed by Government with the appropriate resources.”

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Comments (15)

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  1. Jus' Askin' says:

    This guy is FUNNY!!!!! :-D

    • vote no more says:

      Similar to the current education minister.

    • HELLO says:

      Funny indeed, when he was the Minister he DID NOTHING, and Dunkley told the teachers they were Mischievous. He needs to stop now.

      At least this government is working on the problem, with a plan to address it.

      Also our school buildings are very old, and mold will continue to be a problem


  2. St Georges says:

    What I find amazing is he and all other ministers Know the problem hold the management of Work and engineering responsible. Call the parties out

  3. Sandgrownan says:

    A ministry AND department of education…. there’s your problem

  4. MM says:

    Did we not have problems at Cedarbridge, T.N.T Tatem, Dellwood, over the last 5 or 6 years.In fact school children were bussed to Clearwater for several weeks
    The top civil servants in the Education and Works and Engineering must have kept record of maintenance, how can the Shadow Minister say it’s s systemic matter, a breakdown in communication. Even the Health Department would have been concerned enough to have buy in
    We all know that the E.M.O. deals with hurricane preparedness and response, and various government agencies as well as bekco, Telco, and hospital meet regularly and have mock demos, and write up all responses, all interactions , year in, year out. The entire country depends much on the directions of the E.M.O…So what is missing so much that the Ministry of Education is not dealing , and the Opposition party says it’s no longer their concern because they are now just the Opposition

  5. Kathy says:

    Fire them all and start over – rehire with the highest standards. Unexcusable! Our children should be cherished and cared for! Get crackin’ Minister!

  6. Under the oba flag, Cole Simons did absolutely NOTHING for all public schools and attended a graduation ceremony at Berkeley, along with Dunkley. Neither had hardly lifted half of a finger to help with the issues which continue to plague the public school buildings, teachers and their precious students.
    Simons, continuing to do ” their mission”.

  7. watching says:

    This dude did absolutely nothing as Min of Education, and the OBA government did nothing for the school infrastructure or system during their 5 years in government.
    Now all of a sudden he has the answer and criticisms for everything.
    It is laughable.

    • Jus' Wonderin' says:

      So what are/have the PLP been doing since they been in office? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING as the problems are still there and coming up more and more…..

    • question says:

      The PLP have had 25-11 for two years. They have been able to do anything they want. Why has nothing improved?

    • sandgrownan says:

      17 – 21. 17 years of failure and incompetence. 17 years to get a bus schedule, taxing chocolate, economic blacklist…billions in PLP debt for which our children will have to pay.

    • Well we had America’s Cup.

      • Come Correct says:

        That billionaire raft up Curtis Dickinson wishes he had? Is that what you’re talking about?

  8. PANGAEA says:

    Incompetence. = The inability to do some thing successfully.
    Inability. = The state of being unable to do something.
    Unwilling. = Not ready, or eager to do or prepared to do something.

    Something. = A thing which is unspecified or unknown.