Government Reviews Maintenance Model for Schools

Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 12, 2013 (SKNIS): The maintenance model for public schools in St. Kitts is being overhauled to reflect the increasing challenges brought about from wear and tear and the occasional acts of vandalism.

Minister of Education Honourable Nigel Carty told SKNIS that plans are forging ahead to create a new unit whose primary focus will be to address the repair needs of educational institutions.

“The Ministry of Education is working very closely with the Public Works Department … in setting up a permanent team that will look specifically at preschools, day care centres, primary schools, and secondary schools,” he said on this week’s edition of Perspectives.

“We believe that it is going to be cheaper in the long run to have ongoing proper maintenance rather than to wait until we get into very serious situations such as [what] we had at the Basseterre High School (BHS).”

In order to address the challenges with some of the laboratories at BHS, a new block of classrooms and office complex was constructed. Additionally, major renovation work was done to the classrooms, bathrooms and laboratories on the western campus. Most of the work is nearing completion and estimates suggest that the project should be completed for the start of the next school term in September. The cost has been significant.

“Rather than having to spend two million dollars, as we are now spending on Basseterre High School, we could have spent that money incrementally over time to ensure that the school is kept in a very good state of repair,” the Education Minister noted, while reflecting on the benefits of the new model.

He added that this new approach was in keeping with Government’s commitment to improve the overall education experience to facilitate effective learning and create safe zones for teachers and students.

Deputy Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Earl Asim Martin has been very active in the creation of the new maintenance unit. Minister Carty thanked his Cabinet colleague for his leadership on this matter and also expressed gratitude to the Principal, staff and students of BHS as well as the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) for their support and partnership.

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