Categorized | National News

Special Needs School Nearing Completion

The Special Needs School, located on Deveaux Street, is nearing completion and should be ready next month, according to Minister of Education Jerome Fitzgerald.

In an exclusive interview with the Bahama Journal, the education minister said, the government remains committed to taking care of children with special needs and that the school, which will be located in the former Our Lady’s Catholic School, is an excellent example of that fact.

“It’s a school for special needs and that covers all special needs, not just autism,” he said.

“The renovations are going quite well but there have been some challenges. We are addressing those challenges and expect by the end of April we would be complete. All of the supplies and materials are on the island and ready to go into the classrooms and all of the support staff we need is in place.”

Minister Fitzgerald explained that that staff is already doing “a lot of work” at another school and so there will be a transition process once the old Our Lady’s School is completely renovated.

“We are very excited about the impact this will have in terms of special needs diagnosis, recognising challenges some children have, training teachers and assisting with research,” he said.

“It has taken us a little longer than expected but its progressing well. We suspect that we will move things in and whether we bring children in right away or just wait for the new school year will be a decision to be made by the government.”

He also said no name has been selected for the new school as yet.

“We are looking at different options and talking with the Catholic Board of Education on who we will name the school after,” the education minister said.

Catholic Archbishop Patrick Pinder said early last year that Our Lady’s would close after years of declining student enrollment.

St. Bede’s Catholic School was also closed down last year.

Students and teachers at the two schools were absorbed into the Catholic diocese’s remaining institutions.

The government is expected to spend over $1 million on the renovations.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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