The power has been restored to all the public schools in Grand Bahama which were disconnected from the service last week due to non payment by the government.
Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald told the Journal Sunday that the Ministry of Finance paid their light bills in full to the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC).
While speaking to reporters at the Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) Annual General Meeting at Superclubs Breezes yesterday, the minister also admitted that since January the government and GBPC officials have been in ongoing dialogue on the issue and to come to an agreement on the correct figure owed.
“The following day the Ministry of Finance sent the funds, not only for Education, but also for other ministries there, where we had outstanding bills,” Minister Fitzgerald added.
“Those who live in Grand Bahama would have an appreciation of the practices of the power company and it appears as if not even the government could reason with them. They took a course of action which I guess they feel was right to take.”
Last week Free National Movement (FNM) officials in Grand Bahama raised concern that the power had been disconnected from all the public schools on that island.
The issue sparked some concern as the power cut took place the day before national report card day.
BUT officials also detested the move and noted that some teachers had to use alternative and more difficult routes to access files and print out the report cards.
“It is my understanding that the bill has been paid in full,” he added. “Whatever areas that we had discussion over I assume that once we come to an agreement over those we will deduct those from bills in the future.”
Minister Fitzgerald, however, could not say how much the government owed on its outstanding GBPC bill.
He also applauded the teachers in Grand Bahama who he said “performed extraordinarily under difficult circumstances.”