The 2020-2021 budget has allotted $63.9 million to the Education sector for “settlement of previous commitments” and restoration of 300 primary schools.
The Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) document reported $20 million will go toward the Improvement, Refurbishment and Extensions to Primary Schools programme. The refurbishment schedule includes electrical, sewer, plumbing, flooring, ceiling, and roofing repairs.
The Catholic News contacted the Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM) to identity some of the RC schools which require attention.
It stated the La Fillette RC has to be rebuilt. It is housed in the covered hall of the Blanchisseuse High School; Poole RC has been declared unfit (see page 13) and is accommodated at St Therese’s RC Church; St Dominic’s, Penal is housed in a community centre as the building has been condemned, and the Moruga RC is being threatened by coastal erosion.
St Benedict’s College, La Romaine had severe damage from the August 21, 2018 earthquake. The CEBM said, “The central block is unfit for use among other problems”.
The original building for the Matelot Community College is termite ridden and needs to be replaced. St Joseph Girls’ RC has “serious issues with the sewer system” and the CEBM anticipates this will worsen if the school reopens with the full student population in January 2021. The CEBM stated, “Several other schools have electrical, sewer and/or plumbing challenges.”
The State Enterprises Investment Programme budget document mentions the National Maintenance Training and Security Company Ltd started and completed work on the Belmont Boys’ RC in fiscal 2020, at a cost of 11.6 million.
Commenting on this project, the CEBM informed that construction was completed however, the contractor had not been paid in full but “had graciously allowed the school to be opened”.
The CEBM will submit a proposal to the new Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly “for closer collaboration in the maintenance and conduct of minor repairs to RC schools”. —LPG