BVI News

Gov’t enters $147K deal to assist special needs students

File photo of Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley signing a contract.

The government has entered into a $147,700 agreement with the Wellness Center Behavioural Health Clinic Ltd (WCBHC) to assist special needs students.

In its September 29 Cabinet meeting, the government decided to waive the tender process and retroactively hire WCBHC from January 1, 2021 until August 31, 2022.

According to Cabinet’s post-meeting statement, the territory lacks technical expertise for special needs children. Therefore, it has had issues handling the complexity and volume of issues that impact these students.

However, with WCBHC on board, the government can move ahead with plans to create a Special Education Unit within the Ministry of Education.

This unit will be adequately staffed and equipped with the knowledge and resources to handle problems relating to special needs students in the Virgin Islands.

The Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre is an institution that caters for special needs students and is poised to benefit from the government decision.

The agreement with WCBHC is just one of the latest decisions the government has made to better assist special needs students in the territory.

In February of this year, the learning centre received a school bus to help with students’ transportation. At that handing over ceremony, Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said plans for a new school was being finalised. The first school building was destroyed during Hurricane Irma back in 2017.


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  1. heckler says:

    The COI needs to look into these waiving process because its fast becoming the norm

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    • hmm says:

      How do they come up with such fees, From my recollection it is not so many persons at that school. It just baffles me and if they got the bus in February why is the contract from january?

  2. BuzzBvi says:

    “Retroactively hire WCBHC from January 1, 2021” What can that possibly mean?

  3. Please! says:

    Fix the areas around the schools that break down since Irma. Their sorry attempts are publicity stunts to try to save them. Do everything you want but you are not getting back in come next election (or next snap election).

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  4. Mmmmm says:

    Isn’t the wellness center guy the brother of Mitch Turnbull. How come nobody jumping on it.

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    • sand man says:

      Do you think it was Mitch who give him the contract you dummy?

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      • Waste of Time says:

        Did he initially got the contract when his brother was on the other side of the isle?

        The Ministry of Education has a special education unit so why is the Wellness Center responsible for setting up something that is already in place? Maybe the cash would have been better spent resourcing the unit. Sometimes I wonder how we can find so much money to put in the pockets of cronies but we can find the money to improve the system. The system that government operates on makes me sick. However, I agree with the owners of the Wellness Center- milk it for all that it’s worth and more. Fools and their money deserve to part.

    • @Mmmmm says:

      Perhaps because he is qualified in the services being provided? Do some research into his business and answer that. In my opinion that amount of money is nothing for the services that they provide. CSC got almost $300K so far and what do we have to show for it?

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  5. fix the system says:

    the special needs issue is nothing new. With all that has evolved over the years, sending people to UK, bringing in consultants, and training the teachers, we should be better than this today. It is time for the BVI to have its own center with its own professionals of occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, child and education specialists and all that children with challenges need to help them to develop and grow into dependent individuals. Here we go again

    • @ Fix the system says:

      Sadly, most to all of us will not be around to cherish the day and moment when a way of governsnce, life and doing right for country and its people.

      All that you have mentioned should have been in place from twenty years ago. Lord, where did all that money go?

      Sadly, it will not happen, as the current mind set of governing and policy making main focus is pocket/account filling.

      “Remember the words, “those before me did it, so i going in to do the same?”

      Selah, Lord look wha we come to..

  6. @fix the system says:

    It doesn’t seem like they learn anything from the consultants, but acquire a bunch of reports and pay out money.

  7. A broarder Perspective. says:

    Our education system has fallen dramatically since it most productive years of the late sixties, seventies and eighties. Yet, each government spends more money on it, but both it and society reaps very little results, specially of the desire kinds.

    The BVI, and by extension, “Africa will never be independent, as the educational/intellectual frameworks are not in place to foster such thinking and endeavor.. Diasporans and Africans believe in Europeans, Americans and Chinese more than in themselves;

    They do not trust each other. Diasporans and African engineers / technocrats do not have a platform to practice what they have studied for years in school because Diasporans and African states and large corporations instead hire the Chinese to build roads, schools, stadiums and hospitals for themselves.

    A white man will commit a crime the Diaspora or in Africa but no action will be taken against him because the D and A authorities consider us White Europeans as demigods.

    Far from the truth, a black man can be kidnapped in Europe, harassed and even killed, no African authority can not even dare to question this or raise diplomatic feelings against this European country in which a son or a daughter of Africa would have died!

    Diasporans, Africans and by extension, BVIsladers, present themselves as weak, hopeless people, especially when dealing with Europeans, Americans and Chinese.

    They are their own enemies. They hate each other, something that allows their slave masters to continue to explore and exploit their resources by dividing them further to better reign supreme at home.

    As far as I know Africa is the chosen continent, chosen by God. It is a blessed continent and it is time for Africans to realize that they were born in a place where Americans, Europeans and Chinese would like to be.

    Hence, this jealousy towards Africans and or Black /Brown people, which is why every day, Europeans, Americans and Chinese orchestrate and finance wars in Africa and then create diseases in their Labs in Asia, Europe and America in order to further exterminate Africans.

    Don’t compare the African weather with any other weather … African soil can feed all of Europe, America and Asia for hundreds of years, but their problem, as in the Diaspora and BVI, is only one , “THEIR POLITICAL LEADERS.””

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  8. hmm says:

    The govt invest money in sending persons to school to do speech therapist and the likes where is the benefit. Oh no sorry, most did not return back home and the person who signed the bond got away from paying back the scholarship money to govt. Nothing new.

  9. @ says:

    This is just a bandaid on the issue. Each school should have qualified staff to help students with special needs. Schools need to be prepared to know and understand the different needs and not lump them into one category.

  10. lol says:

    Waiving doesn’t make it legal to not tender. There needs to be appropriate justification or this will still be an audit finding. Then until the COI these guys had no reason to even acknowledge the existence of the Audit Department.

    This is BVI Government’s usual largesse on the public purse. Parna get a good eat

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