While promising that new classrooms will finally be ready for Grade 12 students to be accommodated at Elmore Stoutt High School in September, Minister of Education Myron Walwyn this week begged on national radio for borrowed funds to be made available early for him to undertake a number of improvements at public secondary schools.
He made the appeal to Premier and Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith on Monday during the government’s NDP Radio programme.
Elaborating on the loan fund, Walwyn said: “We have $13 million in loan funding for education that will be used to improve Elmore Stoutt High School and improve Bregado Flax Educational Centre, and so forth. The money is spread out over three years, but I am going to beg you [Premier Smith] to give me access to that money, because the problems are urgent and we need to try our best to address them.”
Walwyn, in the meantime, said Government’s financial contribution to education this year will be ‘one of the biggest investments in decades’ in the sector.
In this year’s budget, the government has allocated a total $2,453,000 to the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Walwyn explained that his plans for this year include construction of an auditorium at Elmore Stoutt High School. “We still have our students there [at the school] eating under the tents and so forth which is not an environment that is conducive to learning,” the minister further said.
“We want to be able to increase our labs both at Bregado Flax Educational Centre and at Elmore Stoutt High School; and of course our plans to do a separation between the primary and secondary not only at Elmore Stoutt High but also at Bregado Flax Educational Centre. All of it will create an environment and give our students the tools that they need for success.”
Walwyn then noted the classrooms that the government should have built at Elmore Stoutt High and Bregado Flax Educational Centre to accommodate Grade 12 students in September 2016.
Up to that time, however, construction of the classrooms was not done. The Grade 12 students, therefore, are being accommodated temporarily at H Lavity Stoutt Community College.
Walwyn this week said the classrooms at Elmore Stoutt High will be completed in time for September, but he did not give a timeline for completion of similar works at Bregado Flax.
“Work is ongoing right now to build 32 classrooms at Elmore Stoutt High School – that is progressing quite well, and it will be ready for September to be able to accommodate our students,” added Walwyn.
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