(ZIZ)– Minister of Education, Hon. Nigel Carty, is back on the job after a recent appendectomy and has wasted no time in getting back on top of matters stemming from the Basseterre High School issue in his absence.
On May 1st, a letter penned by the Celia Nicholas, president of the Dominica Association of Teachers (DAT), to Minister Carty noted that the Dominican association was standing in solidarity with the St. Kitts Teachers’ Union on the BHS matter.
Nicholas continued that the teachers and students predicament needed Minister Carty’s decisive action as well as those of his government colleagues. She said the health of occupants of the institution and safety of the school was paramount.
The DAT letter further expressed the desire for the matter be resolved swiftly.
Upon returning to work on May 6th 2014, Mr. Carty responded to the DAT, first thanking them for their interest and concern for the welfare and safety of the BHS faculty and students. The minister went on to state, “given your position and interest, an objective and well-informed view point would enable you to be of value to our attempts at reaching swift resolution in this matter that has been ongoing for two years despite our having done all that is reasonable under technical and expert guidance to address the situation.”
He cited government’s expenditure of EC$5 million to undertake a comprehensive renovation of the school and its facilities, and expanding the facilities.
Carty also underscored the fact that “the most basic requirement for persons experiencing symptoms of illness to file an appropriate medical report to that effect has been complied with by only three (3) persons of a school population of about 850 students and 83 teachers.”
“In the absence of those reports,” said the minister, “We are doing everything within our power to uncover the issues and in that vein we are in touch with regional agencies to seek their prompt expert assistance.”
The minister concluded that the “Ministry Of Education, the Ministry Of Health and all other relevant agencies are fully engaged in this matter and are committed to the protection of the health and general welfare of our students and teachers and the education of the children at the BHS.