Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — Minister of Health the Hon. Marcella Liburd has been appointed Acting Minister of Education in order to ensure that the Government remains focused on the ongoing issues at the Basseterre High School.
The appointment became necessary in the absence of the Minister of Education the Hon. Nigel Carty who is recovering after a recent emergency medical procedure.
She has already met with principals of the schools being considered as alternative venues for students and staff of the BHS. The Ministry of Education is working closely with all stakeholders including the Principals, the Teacher’s Union and the PTA to find a solution that is acceptable to all.
She will continue to meet with the other stakeholders as a matter of urgency bearing in mind that exams both local and regional are just a few weeks away.
The Ministry brought in officials from CARIRI on Easter Monday, April 21, to conduct a further inspection of the school following continued complaints of ill health. The experts were unable to determine what the cause of the complaints was and are due to publish a report shortly. No report from CARIRI has been submitted as yet.
On the recommendation of CARIRI, the Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Earl Asim Martin, have contacted CAREC to carry out testing at the BHS as a matter of urgency so that this matter can be swiftly resolved.
Commenting on her appointment, Minister Liburd stated that the Government regards the health and well being of the children and staff of Basseterre High School as of paramount priority.
“We want a safe environment for teachers and students and we are not prepared to compromise on this,” she declared. “We have a team of local and regional technical experts and every decision the Government has taken has been on the basis of their recommendations. We will continue to work with these experts so that they can provide an answer for the pupils and teachers of the school.”
Concerning her meetings with stakeholders, the Minister added that she will be meeting with all stakeholders over the next few days, “no one will be excluded.”
“I have already met with the Principals of the relevant schools regarding finding alternative accommodation and will meet with the staff of the BHS, Teacher’s Union as well as the PTA and the parents of students attending the BHS. I will also meet with the other relevant government departments and their technical staff,” Minister Liburd noted. “We have already invited a leading epidemiological research institute to come to St. Kitts for further testing as a matter of urgency. I am sure that if we all work together we can ensure that we protect the health and safety of our students, teachers and support staff and ensure that they are not inconvenienced further at such an important time.”