Information Officer II
Department of Information & Public Relations
Embracing his role as the new Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. the Honourable Natalio Wheatley reflected on the work done during the first 100 days in office.
Dr. the Honourable Wheatley said, that within the first 100 days the ministry has been focusing on assessing each area of the various departments. However, he noted that there have been numerous accomplishments to mark the milestone.
In the area of education, the ministry has been focusing on the rehabilitation of public schools. With the assistance of the Recovery and Development Agency and the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry has signed contracts to begin works on the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS). Scope of works for these contracts includes debris clearance and restoration of the L-shaped building.
“This building (ESHS L-shaped building) is in conformity with the standards we have going forward for smart schools. The school has been made safer, it is less prone to flooding, energy efficient, [more] classroom space and it is less prone to mold”, said the education Minister.
He noted that four contracts have been signed to repair ESHS buildings and works are on schedule.
Other works have been initiated at the Bregado Flax Educational Centre, with a signed agreement for the construction management by BCQS Limited.
The education Minister said that his ministry continues to support local athletes in their endeavors abroad. In April, funding was approved for the BVI team to participate in the 2019 CARIFTA Games in which Jaleel Croal won a gold medal in the Under 17 Boys 200-metre final.
In addition, works continue on the A. O. Shirley Recreational Grounds to resurface the field and contracts have been signed to commence works to install containerized bathrooms and the perimeter wall.
In commemoration of International Museum Day on May 20, the Department of Culture launched the virtual museum initiative.
Dr. the Honourable Wheatley said, “ …Given that many of our museums have been destroyed, we have to find creative ways of providing information on our history and heritage and the virtual Museum is one way we have chosen to do so.”
In the 100 days, a partnership has been forged with the Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) to better enhance its offerings to young people in the Virgin Islands. This same support will be offered to other youth programmes through the ministry.
Agriculture and Fisheries
The Minister noted that both agriculture and fisheries are still in the assessment stage. However discussions have commenced on improving both sectors in the coming months.
To view the full 100 day interview with the Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. the Honourable Natalio Wheatley, visit the Government’s FaceBook page, @BVIGovernment.
- Minister pictured with Athletes leaving for the 2019 CARIFTA Games
- Resurfacing of A. O. Shirley Recreational Grounds
- Launch of the Virtual Museum