BVI News

Penn peeved over Willard Wheatley Primary’s unsafe status


Eighth District Representative Marlon Penn is not pleased with the state of the Willard Wheatley Primary School and the government’s lack of responsiveness over the urgency of the matter.

Penn contended in the House of Assembly recently, that the school was uninhabitable and not in a state of readiness for reopening. He further suggested that teachers and students were being made to work and learn under unpleasant conditions. 

Based on his observations, Penn said he could not see how the school could reopen at the start of the term, after witnessing conditions during his walk-through days earlier. 

Penn said he did not want to embarrass anyone or call anyone out, but noted that the heat at the school was stifling and said there was only one working air-conditioning unit at the facility during his visit. 

He also explained that there was only one working urinal in the male bathroom and said he was forced to make an about-turn after going into the female bathroom. 

“The playground equipment and space where the kids have to eat and play, they cannot play in that area or eat in that area,” Penn said. “It is not sanitary and we need to get that addressed before we put the gems of our community in that facility.”

Penn further stated that he would not advise parents to send their children to the school in its current condition. 

Minister not pleased either

Education Minister Sharie de Castro said safety is also important to her and noted that she, too, was not pleased with the state of affairs at the school. The Minister said measures are now being taken to address the situation.

The Education Minister initially hoped that work would be completed in time for the start of the school year. However, she has now instructed her team to provide an implementation plan to ensure that the work is completed as soon as possible.

The Minister said she expressed complete dissatisfaction regarding the safety and state of the schools to her team after a walkthrough in June, telling them she couldn’t “unsee” what she had seen.

“I want to assure [Penn] and [the House of Assembly] that it is my intention and that of the Ministry to ensure that the Willard Wheatley Primary School gets its due attention to ensure that the teachers and students are operating in a safe and conducive learning environment,” de Castro said. 



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  1. Fake says:

    I don’t understand Sharie Decastro going around like all is well. Doing programs and the infrastructure hosting these programs are faulty, unfinished, and below par.

    Like 25
    Dislike 1
  2. VG says:

    What the about VG we have construction going on while my child is underneath come tell me why.This BVI is going to hell in a basket while the elected lunatics are living large.God pls.come to our rescue.

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
  3. Public says:

    education in the BVI is in a downward spiral. Eventually it will cease to exist.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
  4. WOW says:


    Like 16
    Dislike 1
  5. KMT says:

    Some of these matters can be discussed amongst yourselves & just do what needs to be done. You rather go public as though you surprised. It is one Government at the end of the day & you all need to get your act together….someone always want to blame the other or point fingers. You are not excluded….good or bad it’s one Government & you are part of it. DO SOMETHING & stop the pettiness!!

    Like 8
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  6. Stop it says:

    It’s a sad state when all we can do is blame elected members for what the technocrats are responsible for. Each school has a principal who should report issues at their respective schools to the Chief Education Officer. The ministry has a team of maintenance workers that has a maintenance supervisor and all of whom received increments therefore they were evaluated to say they carried out their duties. If they are carrying out their duties why are the schools in the condition they are in? When you continue giving these workers good reviews knowing fully well they are not they remain in place to continue doing nothing. I guess the minister must go and do their job for them. If you dismiss the non performers you the same public will say that they taking bread out of people’s mouth. We should hold people accountable and stop the blame game. It’s a sad state in these Virgin Islands. We will hit rock bottom with this attitude.

    Like 11
    Dislike 3
  7. Take that says:

    Is ayo put them back in government. Correction: ayo and Lorna.

    Like 16
    Dislike 3
  8. How about.... says:

    You stop treating those persons who work in the ministry of education like they are above everyone else. I know they have an education background, but they are no longer teachers. When the entire ministry decides they will have a 2 month break for summer as if they were teachers it is A JOKE. They should be working their HARDEST during the holidays. Day 1 of school closure – inspection of all public schools. 7 days later – game plan for repairs (including list of projects in priority order). Day 14 – works commence. If this pattern is followed then any major works (requiring jobs to be put out to tender) can be identified early and arranged for the Christmas break or following summer. It really isn’t hard. BUT the ministry of education is filled with LAZY, BADMINDED people from the TOP down….

    Like 24
  9. Farce says:

    The problem ain’t money; money is the problem! The same frontline maintenance workers can only do so much ‘maintenance’ on poorly constructed m/designed ‘schools’ with the bare minimum (often times not even that) in materials, tools and equipment. Their (Maintenance staff) are at the mercy of the red tape and lengthy delays in getting critical resources; much the same way teachers argue they lack resources.

    There have been several ‘educators’ traversing into politics and many whom have/are ministers and were in the public schools system themselves. Have they no shame?!?!?

    Slapping paint over defects seems to be the cosmetic solution employed by these ministers when it comes to protecting Governments real estate investments. When we as a people continue to allow ourselves to settle for mediocrity those in power abuse the people even more by their cons. How much public funds were misused this past summer while the schools sat there deteriorating? It is abuse that while the majority of us work in air conditioned environments, our children have to endure unwavering heat trying to stay focused to avoid failing and falling behind.

    Like 11
  10. Job Done says:

    I’m sure the principal did his/her job. Why would the principal fail to report these issues when he/she has to work in those dreadful conditions.
    We need to put politics aside and look out for the best interest of the

  11. change says:

    Please show minister Penn as a professional and not a bully stop using this picture and have the man in a more productive setting.
    Hope the school will be a priority so the children can attend in an healty invironment relax and safe.

  12. SHAME SHAME SHAME! says:

    Full STEAM ahead! Full STEAM ahead! Literally have people children pressure cooking in a classroom. How can one be so clueless except they are lying and have zero regard for anyone but themselves, their mother, their sister and their BOYFRIEND. She COULD NOT WOULD NOT learn anything from the former education minister who is now leading a pack of clowns, allegedly. Forget nonstop party. We have a nonstop circus, for FREE! SHAME! Class action law suit NOW.

  13. WEW says:

    Enough of this third world crap. Help UK. End it now

    Like 6
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  14. @WEW says:

    How ignorant and unknowledgeable you are. The UK has never build nothing but prisons in its so called over seas territories since the 1600’s.

    And in all that time, it, the UK, has never built an institution of learning. Wonder if you know about the historical reason why not?

    What sort of difference do you think the UK will make in this 21st century? Fact is, the UK will do nothing of the sort for Black people any where, and you damn well know it.

    It is clear that you are having colonial imperialistic come take over fever, so you and your kind can do what you have done throughout history, come and invade, take over, exterminate, disinfranchise, and take all that is valuable for your greedy selves.

    That is what your history has taught us. Will it be different today? No, hell no!!

    So, keep on blogging your hatred for us VIslanders and your subliminal greed, but we got yah!

    It is clear who and what you are, and we don’t want racism, imperialism and neo-colonialism to become a force to terrible to live with in our home town.

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  15. My take says:

    All these issues were known by the principal when? When they were sending out begging letters for big bash at graduation with all kinds of trophies that are meaningless they didn’t know of these issues? Each school has a liaison officer from the dept of education that visit often. They didn’t know of these issues? Marlon this school is in your district. You should have been aware of these issues Lang (deliberate spelling)time!!! Before the end of the school year, each school needs to make a note of ALL areas that need repairs or replaced. Prioritized these areas and get cracking as SOON AS SCHOOL CLOSES

    Like 4
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  16. Leave God out of it!! says:


    So what did VG people (and the rest of the VI) do with their votes when the opportunity presented itself to rescue themselves?

  17. @stop it says:

    When the technocrats do good they take all the good too. Go sid dung.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I agree with you 100%

  19. Hmmmm says:

    The school conditions is really deplorable. The minister knows the school wasn’t fixed she only pretending….as someone said earlier a set a ppl in position with all their big degree and not doing nothing ..lazy from top come straight down.They just abusing their position

  20. Ok says:

    Let them go Willard Wheatley and work for the week

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  21. @Stop It says:

    Nothing happens in the schools unless the funds are allocated. All fingers need to be pointed towards the persons that refuse the allocate funds for the much needed improvements. Principals can only report and suggest. The big shots in the ministry decide the order of priority.

  22. @Take That says:

    The only ones I feel sorry for is the children. Drop the blame on these set of incompetent lunatics that vote them back in office. The Education Minister is smack dab up in the co***ption sauce. NOTHING BUT A SET OF FAILURES RUNNING THE COUNTRY.

  23. Will continue to say it says:

    The public schools in the BVI is deplorable and not up to the standards in which they should. As far as desk and chairs why not have the school furniture made on Island, there are people on Island who can make school furniture. Last time I heard the furniture was being made in Trinidad. Does that make any kind of common sense y’all? I have said it many times and I will continue to say it, the Premier should not, I repeat, should not be in charge or have any connection to the FINANCIAL PORTFOLIO.

  24. Hmm says:

    There needs to be more shed at the high school or more security because children cannot leave their bags in class and go for lunch. Today my child books get wet brand new books just purchased yesterday all because you have to walk in the rain to go get lunch. This needs to get looked into at ESHS.

  25. Something Fishy. says:

    I am wondering if V**o is on VIP payroll, they seem to be a strong defender of VIP. That Guyana lady hope she has nothing to do with Vino because they hear looking friends and favours and picking and choosing what to report. What blog to post..Let the news flow honesty and unbiasly.

  26. HELP says:

    Marlon, you are quite correct. I need you to visit the Willard Wheatley primary school when it is in Sesotho see what they need. Some teachers need fans for the class rooms and other necessities. I really cannot afford it. My property insurance e is Now due and it is over $10K. That’s another topic for another day.

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