BVI News

Education Minister chided for doing ‘media blitz’ amid poor state of schools

Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, Marlon Penn.

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn has rebuked Education Minister, Dr Natalio Wheatley for neglecting the state of local schools but reportedly embarking on a media blitz to shift blame.

Penn levelled those accusations yesterday while speaking on the NDP (National Democratic Party) radio show last evening, September 20.

“The minister went on a media blitz over the past [days] concerning the school situation, and all he did on his media blitz is blame everyone, except take responsibility for the situation that we have with the schools in our territory,” Penn said.

“He is responsible, he is the Minister. He is the Deputy Premier and deputy leader of this country, and has our children dealing with this kind of situation,“ the Opposition Leader continued.

Penn then accused Dr Wheatley of being audacious in expressing disappointment in him (Penn), as the Opposition Leader of the territory.

“I want to let the minister know what disappointment looks like,” Penn said. “Disappointment is those students, those parents and teachers in Jost Van Dyke, when they had to take their children to that school – that’s what disappointment looks like.”

“Disappointment is the parents at Francis Lettsome [Primary School] — the teachers — to have to work in that condition, to see what their children have to go through and what the teachers have to go through because of your negligence,” he added.

“Disappointment is the teachers and children at the Willard Wheatley school – sweltering heat – the air conditioners not functioning,” Penn further said.

He noted that, with the help of a local businessman, the air conditioning system at the school has started to be addressed, but other units remain.

Minister never had a clue about farming & fishing grants

Penn further accused Dr Wheatley, who also has responsibility for the agricultural sector, of not having a clue about what happened with assistance grants distributed by the government last year.

“Disappointment is our farmers and fishermen, the legitimate ones, who waited for their stimulus and their support,” Penn said. “And the businesses who waited on their stimulus checks – and they’re still waiting on their support from stimulus, which this same minister, who’s responsible for fishing and farming, don’t have a clue what happened and still can’t get support to those persons. This minister is a disappointment.”


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  1. Christ says:

    This is the typical ndp them come out like them smarter than everybody else when them mind stink like the sewage he never take care of in east end. Always quick to push other people down and selling people a load of bolony. Please just stop while you at it because your closet doesn’t look good Marlon brother man.

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    • Wow!!! Really??? says:

      Did you forget that the now Minister of Health’s company received and signed several contracts for the fixing of the East End sewerage system, and after being paid thousands of dollars from those contracts, nothing has been done. So tell me smarty pants; why are you now blaming Marlon????

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    • Guess What? says:

      NO! NO!! NO!!! Honorable Marlon. May I advise you to play this game sensibly. You shot yourself in the foot when you went on record to say that you are ready to take over the position of the Premier suggesting that VIP Government is crumbling. Even if you desire the position, commonsense and diplomacy should have compelled you to keep your sweat under the feathers and stay away from the winds. It appears you are shooting all birds in the sky thinking everything in the clouds cannot be, but diabolical. BVI has been through so much in the last 5 years. First was the flood then, the Hurricanes, Covid19, and now being rattled by CoI. Can’t you feel the pressure on our leaders? If you want to be voted for in the next election, stop pulling the Government down, rather, offer them advice whenever they miss the point and keep the records. I challenge you to go public with what you would do differently if you were the Premier. Would you have signed the loan guarantee offered by Britain despite the hidden clauses? The political logjam we are in is so complicated. It can make a fool of a genius. We are pushing the Premier to wonder if there is anything there worth there for him that is worth the insults and harassments. I am not saying that he is an angel, but I can tell that he is intelligent, has a good heart and loves his people. Don’t strangle your only pilot, 30,000ft above sea level. Not even a drunk will do that. Lets fight for this country to give future to generations.

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      • @guess what says:

        You sound really good but Marlon only fight for himself. Tearing down others is nothing new for power hungry politicians.

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  2. Disapointed says:

    Unfortunately Natalio Wheatley has become just another toothless Fat Albert puppet

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  3. lol says:

    “This Minister is a disappointment” he say while he looking a big appointment. Have faith on me father God. These politicians not tired. One man rise mean another man fall. Samson and Goliath. The chef with the poison in the pie.

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  4. VIP and NDP says:

    Ministers from both sides of the house are as bad as each other. Hopefully the COI will give us a window to clean up our act

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  5. Anonymous says:

    When the sole motive, if and when elected, is to fill ones bank account, expect not the children, education, people or territory to be served.

    If the people knew what was stated before election, they may not have voted the way they did.

    It is really, really sad and troubling that many view elected office as a self enriching enterprise.

    With this current, truthful mentality driving the political machine of this territory, there will be no further progress for it.

    Lord have mercy on us. We are screwed.

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  6. YOUTH says:

    I am tired of Marlon walking up and down just looking for confusion.

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  7. East End Man says:

    Marlon you don’t take care of your 8th District but yet here speaking about any problem that you can find. You are a real disappointment.

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  8. watchman says:

    Penn sounds like he’s still in his feelings from the blows he got in the HOA. What’re the solutions Mr.Iwant2BePremier. That’s what will win for him not the constant tit for tat that the government & opposition are involved in. Everybody knows Andrew is the one responsible for the farmer/fisher grant. And Smith is the one responsible for the plane. Fraser said that the premiers do what they want, and now Penn wants to be premier too. Show us something to give us confidence you are capable. If not Skelton, Walwyn or some other rethread will come for your position.

  9. Fast Asleep says:

    Even Tourist talking about the sign about sewage project in Town they say they see the sign for years and nothing done why the people sleeping , they only have strength for island people while Rome is burning to ashes.

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  10. Hmmm says:

    All the few who negatively attack the government daily blaming them for everything in the public domain and in their private life that was mash up long before the Government took office are just up to political mischief because they want political power. Let’s face the fact that covid is causing havoc in every government in the world.

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  11. VG says:

    I am so thankful for the work the minister of education did on BFEC.

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  12. Jokes says:

    Keep the pressure on Marlon. Their sweet talk won’t work this time around.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What pressure are you dumb or forgetful? NDP is the main reason for the state of the territory. VIP didn’t fix their problems like they promised to do but to act as if Marlon is some hero while he sat on the government’s side for the previous 8 years is the reason why we are in this mess. We need to clean house next election. All new representatives.

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      • @Anon says:

        I think there is a typo in your post. You mean NDP is the reason for ALL OF THE LITTLE PROGRESS that you see under VIP. Without the NDP negotiating the CDB $65 mil loan and putting plans in place prior to last elections, we would NOT have the road repairs and other developments that are ongoing and VIP trying to take credit for. Pull the files, play the tapes, the proof is there. If not for what NDP left in place all we would have is the high school being painted, bush being cut and traffic turned around. VIP has done NOTHING ELSE, and this is a FACT!

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  13. WHO TO BLAME says:

    You Government Mr. Penn went ahead and purchase and agreement with an air line for seven mil, instead of fixing the schools after Irma, the now government inherited all your so call problems. now you fixing the blame. go fix your district which is in a deplorable condition. we all know you don’t care about about us the people just chatting for votes. so move from deh.

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    • Sam says:

      And I am sure we would have loved to have direct access from that same failed airline now in this COVID pandemic because the tourist season is dead

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  14. Hmmmm says:

    Sowande is a complete WASTE. No use spending time on him, he will be gone in 18 months.

  15. Truth Be Told says:

    Schools are being neglected…students and teachers are getting sick from the mold. Remember Parents the moldy classrooms where teachers teach are the same moldy classrooms where students learn. Let’s come together and make some noise our children deserves enter. Governemnt can find money for everything else except schools. Are we all blind!

  16. Anonymous says:

    To be fair, Mr. Wheatley inherited the school system in a lamentable condition. Previous govts have also woefully neglected education, save to build an rip-off wall around a school. That said, Mr. Wheatley does not appear to have come forth with any education related plan of action since his appointment.

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