REMARKS BY PREMIER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE
DR. THE HONOURABLE D. ORLANDO SMITH, OBE
ON THE GROUNDBREAKING FOR THE ENIS ADAMS PRIMARY SCHOOL
Tuesday, 13th February, 2018
Rebuilding Resilience through Rebuilding Our Schools
It is an honour to join you all today for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Enis Adams Primary School.
Just about five months ago, this institution, along with many schools throughout the Territory, was seriously impacted by what people are now calling IRMARIA.
Exactly one month after the devastation, my Government through the Ministry of Education and Culture ensured children between the ages of 3 through 8 years old received daily learning at centres set up throughout the Territory in the various districts as a means to provide some level of normalcy to the students and their parents.
Additionally, students in grades 10 through 12 began sessions at the Old Clarence Thomas Limited Building in Pasea Estate.
In November, our primary school students in grades K through 6 were able to register to attend usable schools in their communities; meanwhile junior school students in grades 7 through 9 began attending school on a shift system.
In light of this, my Government made a public appeal to the community to assist with the rebuilding of the Territory’s schools because we recognise that the Government can not build this Territory alone. It will take the public sector and the private sector, locally and internationally working together to make this BVI stronger, smarter and better.
As such, it is with great pleasure that I take this time to thank Mr. Peter Haycraft of Road Town Wholesale Company Limited and his team, Newton Construction for thrusting their weight behind the development of our students—particularly, for this school, the Enis Adams Primary.
The Government of the Virgin Islands strongly values the partnership we’ve built with you over the years and consider you a true community partner. We support the bond and efforts that is the funding mechanism for this school’s construction and are pleased to know that your commitment and contribution is one from the heart.
The Road Town Wholesale Company has been a staple in this economy for years, whether it was through sponsorship and participation in our annual Festival celebrations, sports development, our annual regattas and our yachting sector. Their social responsibility commitment to the BVI is commendable.
Like you, my Government has always understood that our future is inextricably linked to the education of our children- and that is why we must continue, especially in this era to build mutual responsibility in education, one where we all come together for our children’s success.
And so, today is a testament of our collective commitment and shining example of what can happen in all sectors of this economy. So I look forward to the ripple effect.
What I like is that out of challenges, we now have opportunities. And I think now – on this happy occasion – we can all - with a smile agree - the journey towards rebuilding the Enis Adams Primary School is a perfect example of just how this can be achieved.
This ceremony marks an important moment in the rewriting of the history of the Enis Adams Primary School. I am confident that the school will make the most of this opportunity and continue to grow from strength to strength. Our journey is not over – but it is entirely appropriate for us all to celebrate how far we’ve come.
Again, I congratulate the Minister for Education and Culture and the Ministry of Education and Culture, Mr. Peter Haycraft, his family and his team; and all involved parties who, through their community spirit, have pulled together to make this groundbreaking possible and wish you every success with the new campus.
Thank you very much.