Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 24, 2014 (SKNIS): From paint jobs to improvements of drainage systems the Ministry of Education along with the Ministry of Public Works have continued efforts to enhance the learning environment.
Minister of Education Hon. Nigel Carty along with other education officials and officials of the Public Works Department headed by Permanent Secretary Lenrick Lake made their way to 12 schools to inspect the progress of the renovations.
He explained that 2014 has ushered in a new era in education were intense focus is being placed on the quality of the infrastructure in schools.
“I’m sure everybody knows about the need to maintain our infrastructure properly creating the environment for our boys and girls and our teachers to work in and to study in,” said Minister Carty. “So, we started a very aggressive programme of improvement of our schools early last year and today we have achieved quite a lot.”
The Minister of Education stated that in various schools some of the classrooms have been completely renovated including new tiles and roofs. To address drainage problems in one of the schools the school grounds were completely paved.
Ongoing work is being done to the bathrooms which Minister Carty assured will be maintained once completed.
“[There are] so many students on a daily basis visiting the bathrooms and sometimes because of how they use them, they breakdown very quickly,” he explained. “But this comprehensive programme of school improvements is geared towards ensuring that we have the proper infrastructure in place so that our students are comfortable…
…So what we are going to do here after, we are going to be establishing a maintenance team to ensure that the state of maintenance in which we have put our schools will be maintained.”
Both Ministries have also worked together to ensure that every public high school student has a desk and chair which has so far provided a more comfortable environment for the students.
During their visits to Washington Archibald High, Cayon High, Saddlers Secondary, Charles E. Mills Secondary and Verchild’s High the three-thousand pieces of furniture were officially handed over.
Minister Carty stated that while “children will be children” they are encouraged to take care of the furniture and also urged parents to help them understand the value of the new desks and chairs.
“The school is a very rough and tough environment where students interact with each other, play hard and sometimes damage the furniture,” said Minister Carty. “While we have to allow them to be children, to play and do what children do we also want to encourage them and their parents to instil in them the value of taking care of what we were providing.”
Other schools which were visited included Estridge Primary, Saddlers Primary, Deippie Bay Primary, St. Pauls Day Care, Newton Ground Primary and Tyrell Williams Primary.