Categorized | National News

Lloyd Troubled Over $30 Million School Upgrade

Minister of Education Jeff Lloyd questioned the details surrounding a $30 million investment in education made by the previous Christie administration.

During his contribution to the 2017/2018 Budget Communication debate in the House of Assembly yesterday, Mr. Lloyd charged that the former government had invested about $30 million in upgrading schools on land he said the government does not own, and “probably will never own.”

The minister of education referred to this as an “extraordinarily sore point” for the government.

“The most troubling situation is on Wulff Road at the former Bahamas Academy, owned by the Seventh Day Adventists. The government, if it goes through with this process will spend $25.7 million on that property, out of which we will get a five year lease and we will be required to pay according to the lease agreement $60,000 a year in lease payments,” Mr. Lloyd said.

“This agreement was entered into approximately three and a half years ago. It started out as a $1 million consideration that was for the relocation of BTVI. Somehow it ballooned to $8 million.

“That was changed, as no longer BTVI relocation. Somehow it got up from $8 million to $25 million.  What we know is that money has already been expended.  There was much discussion.  I cannot find the lease agreement.  I’m still searching for it.”

The minister’s budget contribution comes just a day after the first cohort of graduates received The Bahamas High School Diploma.

Over 900 students participated in the exercise on Wednesday evening after exceeding the requirements of BJC passes including mathematics and English with a C grade, a 2.0 cumulative average, 90 percent punctuality and attendance rate, 30 hours of voluntary community service and 20 hours of job-readiness training.

In recent years, thousands of students have failed to meet the basic requirements

Mr. Lloyd noted that 24 years after its inception, the national exam results improved by only four percent.

For the minister of education, improving that number calls for addressing the issue at the pre-school level.

Meantime, the government has committed itself to ensuring that all two-and-a-half to three-year-olds are enrolled in a Ministry of Education approved pre-school programme.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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