Categorized | National News

Schools Repairs Near Completion, Says Fitzgerald

Schools throughout the country will open their doors to thousands of children in a matter of days and Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald assured that school repairs are going well and all indications show that those repairs will be completed in time.

He added that the government has been hard at work to ensure that quite a number of preschools are up and running for the 2014-2015 school year.

“The St. Bede’s Preschool is ready and that will be operational, we can expect to take in about 100 kids, Fox Town is completed and that will be opening and we’re working on some additional rooms in the Pinewood area in the Buttonwood preschool, those wont be completed for September but were hoping that by January that we will have those completed, were just finalizing the scope of work on that, probably about $100,000 – $200,000 to get that ready,” he said.

“We’re quite pleased with the amount of preschools we’ve added within the last two years, well over 250 close to 300 and were looking for 100 or so to be added this year.”

He added that there is a lot of optimism going into the new school year.

In addition to a number of initiatives to come on stream such as the National Standardised High School Diploma and student intervention programs, Mr. Fitzgerald said that this new school year is going to come with a higher level of accountably from principals and teachers.

“I will ensure that the measuring tools are in place and those who are in education will receive feedback from that data to show whether or not we’re on course or whether we’re going in the right direction,” he said.

“To a great extent, like any organisation if you don’t have a structure that demands accountability then there will not be – so I don’t think that the level of accountability is at the level that I expect and everyone has agree that there is some things we can do to improve.”

He added that everyone must be on board towards reforming the educational system and improving grades.

The Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) and the education minister went head to head on numerous issues within the 2013 -2014 school year.

However, Mr. Fitzgerald assured that all is well with the union and the government moving into the new school year.

“I have no issues with the BUT, I addressed new teachers and encouraged them to join the BUT and so I have no issue, I’ve only made the point that as minister am responsible for the running and operation of the schools and the union has their role to play but I don’t want them confuse what their role is what my role and once we have that level of mutual respect, we can sit down like responsible adults and come to conclusions on certain matters.”

Overall, Mr. Fitzgerald said that it is all about ensuring that the initiatives and cooperative relations contribute to the ministry’s long-term goal of improving the overall graduation rate in the country moving forward.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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