NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (MAY 07, 2014) –Premier of Nevis and Minister of Education Hon. Vance Amory, described the relocation of the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education to the Pinney’s Industrial Site as a necessary one since the physical plant, where they were located appeared to have been neglected over the years.
He made the comment when he made an unannounced visit to the new offices accompanied by Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Ministry Wakely Daniel.
“I am happy that we are able to [provide new facilities]. It was necessary. Let me make that quite clear because when we visited the Marion Heights Building, it appears that it has suffered from serious neglect. I think lack of repairs, lack of maintenance and I think it was absolutely necessary that we try to make this,” he said.
However, Mr. Amory explained that he had regrets that the move had not been done sooner.
“The only regret that I have is we didn’t do it from January once we had made the decision but I know we had to do internal changes to make the individual spaces available but I am happy with the work that the Public Works have done to accommodate the change and also I do wish that you will be comfortable,” he said.
The Education Minister who is also responsible for the Ministry of Finance in the Nevis Island Administration further stated that he was not certain how long the Ministry and Department would be at the new location which was a rented property.
“How long it will last depends on how quickly they are able to get the repairs and the maintenance done at the Marion Heights Building because I think the country will be aware that we are renting these accommodations and I want to thank Mr. [Evered] Herbert (owner of new office space) for accommodating us.
“I am sure that you and your staff and the other members of the Ministry, the Open University Programme would be accommodated effectively but all the best to you and your staff,” he said.
Meantime, Principal Education Officer (PEO) in the Department of Education Palsy Wilkin during the visit expressed satisfaction with the spacious premises and gratitude to the Administration for the new accommodations.
“We are very grateful that you have provided for us so that we could be more comfortable. It has been a transition that we are going through right now, trying to fit into our new space but we are very happy.
“We are very pleased. We are very comfortable. As you can see, our offices are very spacious. It’s new surroundings which we are very happy and very pleased to have. Our officers have been placed in different offices. In some offices we have two officers but we are quite comfortable in these new surroundings and we do want to say thank you very much,” she said.
The PEO also spoke to some of the challenges experienced at the Marion Heights Building where the office was located previously.
“At the Marion Heights Building, where we have just come from, we were really overwhelmed in terms of the facilities there. In terms of the illnesses, we had begun to experience…different officers getting sick from the dust, the mold and that kind of thing we were experiencing there and so we are very happy that we could have this facility available to us,” she said.
Avril Elliott, Education Officer and Language Arts Coordinator at the Department expressed gratitude on behalf of the staff for the new facility.
“I would like to, on behalf of the entire staff express our gratitude to the Nevis Island Administration. In fact, we have had some concerns and some issues with our old location at Marion Heights, so we are grateful that they have responded to our clarion call and have seen it fit to relocate us here at the Pinney’s Industrial Site.
“I must say it is comfortable, spacious. The air is very clean and we are all happy to be here. There is some bit of inconvenience but nothing worth having is easy to achieve. So we are happy that we are here nevertheless and I think that those challenges and hurdles, they are somewhat not very important right now because I think that the positive benefits of being here, have somewhat outweighed the negative.So I must say again, thanks to the Nevis Island Administration for relocating us and you will definitely see the fruits of your initiative,” she said.