Categorized | National News

Schools Will Reopen Despite Ongoing Repairs

By Delvardo Emmanuel
Journal Staff Writer

With the opening of the new school year just one week away, Prime Minister
Philip Davis, along with Minister of Education Glenys Hanna-Martin, Works and
Utilities Minister Alfred Sears and other education and works officials, toured
public schools in New Providence on Sunday.
The prime minister and government officials toured schools that are undergoing
extensive structural renovations, which include The Government High School,
R.M. Bailey Senior High, T.A. Thompson Junior High and Woodcock Primary
Schools. Prime Minster Davis said he’s pleased with the progress made thus far.
“Let me lend my voice to that and say that I share in the pleasure of the minister of
what she’s seeing here today. I’m pleased with the work that’s been carried out by
the contractors that were chosen. You can see that they are not only just doing a
good job, but they’re going above the call of duty working,” Davis said.
“Today is Sunday and look at the number of persons who are working. I’m not
going to think about what it’s doing to the economy. All these young men you see
on these jobs, on all the sites you see, what do you think? That’s money that’s in
their pocket, that’s got to be spent. And what is more, you know, sometimes what
we deem to be a challenge turns out to be an opportunity.”
Although some works on those campuses are still ongoing, Minister Hanna-Martin
asserts that works will not delay the August 28 opening date.
“Every school student and schools throughout this nation will go and will be in
school. Now, if there’s some little tweaking or something that will happen after
hours, that’s fine. But the bulk, the major work is, will be completed. And I don’t
anticipate there will be much, if anything, other than some minor, minor, minor,
which will not disrupt anything,” Hanna-Martin said.
“The issue is, and I want to clarify this because this thing, you know, it can be
finished. Remember now, we’re not just changing doorknobs, we are redeveloping
the school plant. Government High, when I saw it, I was shocked that that is where
our young people were going. And we have completely, and you saw it with your
own two eyes, completely redeveloped that school.

“R. M. Bailey is under redevelopment as we move to the next repair period. We
have to redevelop more. We are redeveloping. Woodcock Primary, one of the
oldest schools, is major redevelopment. To answer your question, we anticipate
and expect and are confident that on the 28th, students will be in the classroom
Now there have been some concerns put forward by Bahamas Union of Teachers
(BUT) President Belinda Wilson, who recently pointed out that schools seem to be
opening earlier and earlier each year. However, Minister Hanna-Martin in her
response said the decision is something that education officials will revisit in the
new year.
“The issue that she raises is one that we have been meditating on also, and we’ve
met and discussed it. And next year we have determined that the school will, that
the summer months will be for summer vacation. And in early September, we will
resume school. We are doing that because the end of August brings the end to the
summer more or less, and then, it gives you a sense of renewal.
“And hopefully it’s cooler. This is an issue that we have determined will be next
year. We had published the 19th of August for school reopening, and we’ve agreed
that date is not reasonable.”
“We will seek to open school at a later time in the first days of September.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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