Categorized | National News

Public Schools Overcrowded

An additional 400 students – many of whom are coming from private schools – need to be placed in public schools this fall, according to education officials. Those students will add to the overcrowding problem.

There are currently 53,000 students enrolled in public schools throughout the country.

Director of Education Lionel Sands told the Bahama Journal yesterday that he expects the overall student population to increase to 55,000 for the new school year.

“We have a number of private schools that have been adversely affected economically, so students are continuing to come over,” he said.

“There are about two private schools closing that we know of and these children will be coming to us. The enrollment in our schools is increasing throughout the country and more particularly in the southwest and southeast New Providence. Right now, we have an additional 400 students who we need to place in schools. That essentially is an entire school and that’s a challenge we are faced with.”

Mr. Sands said education officials must place the 400 students in schools as mandated by the Education Act.

He also said the bad economy coupled with the population growth have contributed to overcrowding in public schools.

“It is a combination of the economy where parents just aren’t able to afford private schools and growth in the population,” he said.

“There is a movement of students from the traditional black-belt areas – the northwest and northeast – that are going to the south where you have schools like Carmichael Primary, Anatol Rodgers High School, CV Bethel High School, Garvin Tynes Primary and Sadie Curtis Primary. These are schools that have way beyond the number than they were supposed to have and that’s because of the number of people moving in those areas.”

Mr. Sands said he would prefer to have the maximum of 700 students at any school, whether primary or high school.

He said the population at Sadie Curtis Primary School is just over the 1,100 students mark.

At CV Bethel High School there are 1,400 students – 1,300 at Anatol Rodgers High School and another 1,400 at S.C. McPherson High School.

“That’s a lot and these are some of the challenges we are faced with and we’re seeking to deal with them the best way possible,” he said.

“Building new schools is what we want to do, but of course the challenge we have now is funding,” he said.

“What we are seeking to do is have students deployed to schools where the numbers are not so great in northern New Providence and even in doing that, that costs more money for the government because if we have a student who lives in the south and we put them to a school in the north, we have to provide busing for that student to take them to and from school.”

In total, the ministry has oversight for 160 schools.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook