Statement
20 February 2019 - 4:21pm

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND CULTURE
HONOURABLE MYRON V. WALWYN
ON THE OCCASION ON THE OFFICIAL HANDOVER CEREMONY OF THE ENID SCATLIFFE PRE-PRIMARY SCHOOL
JOHN’S HOLE, ROAD TOWN, TORTOLA
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2019
9:00 A.M.

This handover ceremony this morning marks the fourth school building that we are able to open from among the buildings that were deemed unusable after the 2017 disaster.  Immediately following the 2017 disasters, we assessed all school buildings and classified them as usable or unusable. Using that information, we were able to make several appeals for assistance from the business community, private donors and other organisations. We have benefitted greatly as a ministry from the public-private partnership that we share with the business community and today is yet another example of the benefits of this initiative.  

If we ever doubted that the public-private partnership model could work, we have had proof several times over that it can work!  The Ministry of Education and Culture have had our schools rebuilt, refurbished and resourced through such partnerships over the seventeen months.

The Social Security Board has been partnering with the Enid Scatliffe Pre-Primary School over the years to offer help as needed. We owe a debt of gratitude today to the Board for stepping in and taking on the entire project to rebuild the school. 

Several recommendations for adjustments were given and although they came with an increase in the final cost, the Social Security Board made the decision to include all the alterations to the rebuild.  We now have a covered walkway, easy access to all classrooms, the girls’ bathroom relocated to the front of the building, the principal’s office was moved to the front of the school and the wooden structure that housed two classrooms is now a concrete structure with a flat concrete roof with provisions for an additional floor in the future. 

So as I said before, we owe a debt of gratitude to: Mr Ian Smith, Chairman of the Social Security Board, Ms Antionette Skelton, Director of Social Security, Mr James Todman, the contractor and Dion Stoutt, Project Manager for the fantastic job done with this school. It is almost an entirely new building and it makes provision for future expansion.

In addition, we also express thanks to the Social Security Board for the additional students’ furniture that was provided. Your generous donation is much appreciated.

Principal Welch, you along with your staff and students should be returning to your space after today.  We are finally able to get you back into your own building and to release the classrooms at Althea Scatliffe primary School. This is definitely a very good feeling. It is a new and improved environment, which will allow more space for the teaching and learning process. As I have admonished all principals, teachers and students of the new schools thus far, I urge you all to take very good care of this new facility.

Since 2017, we have been making every effort to restore school buildings.  Allow me to give a brief update on progress thus far.

Ivan Dawson Primary School

The rebuilding of the Ivan Dawson Primary School has been completed and school has started there with Ms Tonya Bertie as Principal as of January 31st, 2019. The Norwegian Cruise Line provided the funding and All Hands and Hearts provided the labour. The works included rebuilding of the restroom block, plumbing and fixture and fittings, repairs to the roof, painting, raised concrete floors, electrical, installation of new windows and doors, drainage for entire school ground to minimize flooding, installation of shades at front and rear of school, installation of playground and installation of a “grid box” which is capable of providing the school with temporary electricity and water. 

Enis Adams Primary School: 

Through private benefactor, Mr. Peter Haycraft, work commenced in February 2018 at the Enis Adams Primary School and is still in progress.  From our last report from the contractors, works are on target and barring any major setbacks, the school should be completed for the start of the 2019 – 2020 school year. 

Robinson O’Neal Memorial Primary School

The rebuilding of the Robinson O’Neal Memorial Primary School was started in February 2018 and was completed on September 14, 2018.  Works included the construction of two new classrooms, covered courtyard, refurbishment of the resources/library and a Guidance Counsellors Office. The Johnson’s Family - Oil Nut Bay’s North Sound Foundation donated the funding for the rebuilding, new furniture and educational supplies.  The school is also equipped with the installation of a new solar panel system that is operational and capable of supplying the school with electricity.

Leonora Delville Primary School

Repair works were completed and the students and teachers of that institution are now in a more comfortable environment.  Works were conducted by local contractors and included roof repairs, painting, purchase and installation of door and windows and general cleanup of grounds.  

Elmore Stoutt High School (L-Shape Building)

The tender evaluation process for the L-shaped building is almost complete and we expect work to commence next month. We are hopeful that from information provided that that building should be ready for occupancy in September, thereby ending the shift system that currently exists. In addition to the ‘L’ shaped building, through the Recovery and Development Agency, some temporary buildings will be constructed as additional classrooms to accommodate the junior secondary school on the old campus.

Bregado Flax Educational Centre – Secondary

Again, through the public private partnership, UniteBVI, the private benefactor, has started repair works on Building One, the two-storey building at the Bregado Flax Educational Centre Secondary division, restrooms and the sewerage system. Construction commenced in November 2018 and is on-going. 

The Government of the Virgin Islands is responsible for funding and project management services specified under the CDB loan package for the repair on building 2, 3 and 4, as well as the Administration and Restrooms Block on the primary side of campus. The Ministry of Finances’ Project Unit is still in the process of finalising the CDB requirements and once this is done, the Government’s portion will commence.

A special word of thanks to Ms. Marieta Headley, her assistant principals and staff for making all the necessary adjustments to accommodate the Enid Scatliffe Pre-Primary school for the last year and a half. You did such a great job, we could not tell that the set up was not the norm. You will now have five of the six classrooms to use for Althea Scatliffe and one will go to the Eslyn Henley School to afford them some more space to work with our differently abled students. We thank you all for stepping up to the partnerships we had to form in order to get schools going in short order. All of our schools doubled up to pick up the slack and we are all better and stronger for it.

Again, our sincere thanks to the Social Security Board for your outstanding contribution.  And to the Principal, staff, parents and students, thank you for your patience. Enjoy your new school and please take care of it.

Thank you.

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