Ready for New School Year
We want to ensure that all students are being educated in a safe environment that is conducive to learning. And an effective maintenance programme is a critical part of that goal.
—Ministry of Education Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues
As government schools prepare for the start of the new school year, management staff members are making their final readiness checks.
Ministry of Education, Training and Employment Facilities Manager Tommy Ebanks explained that a programme of maintenance and minor capital works was scheduled for each school during the summer, following consultation with principals and sign off by the Chief Education Officer.
His team is now conducting a final round of readiness checks.
Mr. Ebanks and the Ministry's Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues recently met with George Town Primary Principal Marie Martins. They inspected several improvements made to the site over the summer.
The work included a new modular staff room; a freshly-paved play area and relocated playground; covered walkways from the bus park to the school, and covered walkways and ramps connecting all modular units to the main school. The school's buildings are also being re-painted.
Additional priorities were also identified for completion before the school year begins. A private office will be created for the principal with an adjoining reception area and conference room, once the staff room is relocated.
A small classroom will be converted to serve as a dedicated sick bay which will also double as a counseling room. And an additional sanded playground area will be added at the back, on the old school site.
"I am quite pleased with the improvements and the school is well maintained and kept clean," Principal Martins commented.
"At George Town Primary we don't use challenges as excuses to avoid moving forward. It's not the facilities that make for success; it's our human resources, our staff, who make the difference."
The leadership and staff of George Town Primary have been commended on many occasions for the quality of education and care they provide, particularly following the school's most recent inspection report.
Construction of a new George Town Primary School began last year, but was later terminated by the previous government due to limited funds. Given the current economic climate, those funding challenges remain.
However, Mrs. Rodrigues noted that despite this situation, the Ministry is committed to making wise investments with the funds available.
"We want to ensure that all students are being educated in a safe environment that is conducive to learning. And an effective maintenance programme is a critical part of that goal," she said.
"An audit on school facilities, completed in June this year, will be converted into customised maintenance plans that address the specific needs of each school. However, as we have many aging facilities, a long-term plan for the development of new school facilities will need to be undertaken in the near future."
For further information contact: Kenisha Morgan