Categorized | National News

Load Shedding Crisis Concerns Schools

Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd, concurring with Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, said the constant load shedding is a crisis and a deep concern, particularly for the ministry when school opens. 

The question of whether schools will be ready for the new school year has been a long time focus, but now that it’s been reassured that schools will be ready for September 2, the bigger question is how will these schools function with the incessant load shedding consumers in New Providence are facing. 

Speaking with reporters on the sideline of the Ministry’s Administrators Conclave 2019, Minister Lloyd said it’s a concern to everyone. 

While the frustration runs deep throughout the capital, and with the 2019-2020 academic school year only weeks away, Mr. Lloyd said it’s something that the ministry will have to manage.

“We are just going to have to manage it. I am satisfied that the executives of BPL (Bahamas Power and Light) indicated to us that things are getting better every single day and we are looking forward to the day, and I believe it’s somewhere around November, December when this will all be finished, the new power plant will be on stream,” Mr. Lloyd said. 

“If power is going out, obviously it’s going to have a negative effect on schools.

“A lot of these schools like Uriah McPhee and Stephen Dillet, these are air-conditioned facilities, if there is no air condition the students cannot be inside so that certainly is going to have an impact.”

Considering that these schools are built without windows, when asked if there is a strategic plan in place, Mr. Lloyd said “not quite”.

“You have to understand that available space to accommodate that many students is just not easily available,” Mr. Lloyd explained.  

“We are just going to have to go through it.

“It seems as if the practice is two to three hours loss of power on a given day.  That can be managed. But, if it’s twice a day or more than that, that’s going to be a problem, no question. 

“We’ll have to look and see how we’ll manage with it.

“In 2017, when we had the situation with Stephen Dillet, we were able to use the Wesley Methodist Church school room. That worked out fairly well for us. 

“Of course, you know we have the gyms and some facilities at the stadium. So, all of those things are being contemplated but, we hope we’ll never have to come to them.”

Chiming in on how this crisis will affect students and learning, Bahamas Union of Teachers President Belinda Wilson said BPL is not a reliable service, considering that one of the major components of this academic school year is the implementation of technology in the classroom.

“If we are going to rely on technology, then what are the alternative energy producing avenues that we are going to use for our schools? That’s a major concern for us,” Mrs. Wilson said.

Mr. Lloyd reiterated that if there are too many load sheddings the ministry will have to look into alternative arrangements. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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