BVI News

Gov’t special needs scholarships gone for good?

It seems the government has no immediate plans to reinstate the special needs scholarships to the Vanguard School in the United States.

In a recent sitting of the House of Assemly, Territorial At-Large Representative Stacey ‘Budda’ Mather quizzed the Education Minister on the status of the scholarships which stopped after the 2017 hurricanes.

Education Minister Sharie de Castro didn’t explicitly state that the programme would never be reinstated, but her response suggested that the government is more focused on improving special needs education resources in the territory.

“I have been advised that the reason behind this decision was the high cost associated with funding such scholarships, which after receiving a discount amounted to $44,000 per annum, per student in 2019,” de Castro stated.

She also said she hasn’t received any feedback from parents of special needs children who used to attend the Vanguard institution, so she has no feedback on the progress these students have been making since they left the school.

Many students with special needs

The Minister revealed that there are a number of students who require special education in the BVI. She said currently, there are 15 students enrolled at the Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre and an additional 21 students at the Enis Adams Primary School, which is the first school with two fully staffed therapeutic kindergarten classrooms. 

“Inclusive of the aforementioned and across all other public schools, there are a total of 264 students receiving intervention services. Of the 264 students, 57 have individualized education plans and 207 are on intervention plans,” the Minister said. 

Because of the number of students who have unique needs, Minister de Castro said her ministry has executed several training sessions for educators in the area of special education. She also said the Ministry is strengthening the Student Support Unit, which is currently staffed with 12 trained teachers and 13 learning support assistants.

“Alongside this approach, the Ministry is also excited about the construction of the new Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre to ensure improved support for students who are significantly differently-abled,” de Castro explained.


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  1. Resident says:

    I hope these kids would get all the necessary help needed… but in addition to that- WHEN WILL THE ALTHEA SCATLIFFE SCHOOL BE REBUILT…

    These kids needs to return their own?

    Need answers!!!

  2. Wow says:

    “She also said she hasn’t received any feedback from parents of special needs children who used to attend the Vanguard institution, so she has no feedback on the progress these students have been making since they left the school.”

    Isn’t the Minister ashamed of this statement? Shouldn’t the Government have sought feedback from the parents BEFORE discontinuing the scholarships? The statement itself tells us all we need to know, the Government does not give a f**k about anybody.

    Like 16
    Dislike 1
  3. special needs says:

    It is a disgrace that up to now BVI cannot get special needs education going properly. You guys are always in the UK and see how they cater to their special needs community, for both social and educational needs, and up to now, between the social development and the educational system still can’t get it together. Will it be perfect for everyone? No, but at least we can have a decent system with an aggressive early intervention in place for the needs of each individual child. The school system is over-burdened with undiagnosed children who are wasting away in the classrooms with no help, no aid and being left behind. BVI let us get it together and stop failing our children

  4. Difficult says:

    to recognize special need children in the BVI because there are so many special need adults in BVI politics.

  5. Disgrace says:

    ESHS the only government public school
    On this island does not have a trained nurse for so msny years
    This government should be ashamed of themselves.
    What a calamity

    Amoung other things …

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  6. Problem says:

    The problem is that we think building physical structures will solve our problems and that is FALSE. Build systems and we will get by. It is obvious that we have no real plana or care to do anything for special needs kids.

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