The government has financed an EC$6 million programme to repair schools across St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
This is in addition to a programme financed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) through the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) to repair three schools and a further nine schools to undergo substantial repairs under another CDB programme.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told a press conference in Kingstown on Monday that 94 schools, including some owned and operated by the private sector, including denominational schools, will be repaired under the programme.
The prime minister said he has been assured that almost all of the 94 schools being repaired under the government financed programme will be ready by this Friday.
The remainder will be ready by next week Friday, ahead of the Sept. 2 commencement of the new school year.
The prime minister said the three schools under the BNTF project, Calliaqua, New Grounds and Park Hill primary school, will undergo “large repairs”.
Gonsalves, who is Member of Parliament for North Central Windward, where Park Hill is located, said he was disappointed with the progress on the Park Hill school.
Up to last week Wednesday, all the documents were not in place to go to the Tenders Board, he said, adding that chair of the board, Edmond Jackson, said that the soonest they would have been able to complete work on that was last Monday.
He said that there are things on which the Tenders Board was still seeking clarification.
The prime minister said that last week Wednesday, after getting the update, he said he wanted plan B and he now has this backup plan.
He said the government may have to build a wooden facility and fix up the toilets at the old Park Hill school while the new school is being built.
Meanwhile, the third bundle of repairs will be done at Girls High School, St. Vincent Grammar School, Bequia Community High, St. Clair Dacon Secondary, Sandy Bay Secondary – where a new school will be built, Thomas Saunders Secondary, Barrouallie Anglican Primary, Barrouallie Government, and Kingstown Anglican Primary.
On these nine schools, very little repair will be done under the EC$6.5 million government programme.
Next year, these repairs will be in full flow and in some cases, depending on the manner in which it is being done, they might have to move part of the student body to somewhere else, because the renovations are extensive, Gonsalves said.
The prime minister said he was disappointed that all the furniture was not in place for last Monday, Aug. 19.
He said that some of the persons who had been constructing the furniture had given assurances but did not meet the deadline.
Gonsalves said has been assured that the furniture will be in place on Aug. 30.
I smell an election around the corner! The upkeep of schools has been ignored for over a decade, why is the Gonsalves regime finally paying attention to it? Will he also start to do repairs in other government buildings? He should take away some of the vast money he gives our diplomates in New York and spend it at home instead. Maybe he can also cut some of the money that goes into his huge salary and especially vast benefits to help renovate the country. Why does he need an entertainment allowance and all the other benefits and bonuses? He already gets around 39,000 EC salary per month and does not have to pay transportation rent or utilities from that. If we really look at where the government prioritizes the money we would all be shocked and saddened.Maybe more shocked when we see what the top political figures in government do not have to pay for!
The schools are in the current dreadful condition they are in because of the gross neglect that they have suffered under the Ralph Gonsalves dynastical owned government the ULP.
For 20 years little or nothing has been done to maintain the excellent condition they were inherited in from the NDP.
In fact that applies to all the infrastructure in every building and road owned or controlled by the ULP government.
Sooner than maintain, the ULP policy is let them fall apart then get a loan or grant from some mug organisation like CDB to rebuild, refurbish, or/and repair.
It really is a shame that the CDB is still don’t realise they are being continually mugged off.
I agree Jolly Green. The financial management of the people’s money is the worst in this countries history. I am not a big fan of Mitchell but I have nothing against Dr. Friday because he has not yet been put in that position to be able to do anything about the deplorable state the last 20 years has brought to this country. It is abundantly clear that the present government does not put people or country first. The money goes to facilitating more wealth, power and priveledge to the few at the top. That means neglecting roads, schools, and other vital infrastructure and instead putting revenue into projects that make them only look like they care.
It never ceases to amaze me how so many people will vote for thier own poverty!
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