Basseterre, St. Kitts, (CUOPM) — Educators and students must be comfortable in the teaching and learning environment as work is continuing on some 14 schools in St. Kitts to ensure proper conditions.
Minister of Education, Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty said education continues to be a very active and progressing ministry and a new project focusing on technical and vocational training.
Speaking on a recent issue of “Good Morning St. Kitts and Nevis, Minister Carty noted that when he was given the portfolio of education following the January 2010 general elections, he observed there was a lot of work to do.
“The infrastructure of our schools was in my view was in a very unsatisfactory state and therefore for I set out to do significant work to bring it up the standard where our students and teachers could feel that they are working in an environment where they can feel comfortable and safe,” Mr. Carty said.
“Part of the reason that they are not up to scratch is that someone was not paying a close and keen attention, but since I have come to the Ministry (of Education), we have done significant work,” he disclosed.
“At this current moment, we are working on about 14 schools almost simultaneously to repair, upgrade and make sure schools are in a state where we can all feel proud of and where all our students and teachers can feel very comfortable so that is ongoing,” said Minister Carty, who used the opportunity to thank the Ministry of Public Works Ministry and the many private contractors who have come forward to display their skills.
He said the Ministry of Education pays the Ministry of Public Works to bring all our schools up to scratch and then to hand over the regular maintenance and the up-keep to private contractors who on a month to month basis make sure that restroom facilities and windows that are broken are repaired.
“You would appreciate the school is a tough environment because the students will run and play and there is a constant battering of the physical environment so there is need for constant monitoring and constant repair and upgrade. We are very happy that is on the horizon, having the schools repaired and refurbished and to ensure they remain at a very high standard and quality of our institutions,” said Minister Carty.
He told listeners that nearly EC$5 million has been invested at the Basseterre High School to ensure that the environment is safe and secure for students, teachers and people who visit the school.
“We have built a new classroom block on the eastern campus. We have refurbished the entire western block, labs, classrooms and auditorium,” said Mr. Carty.
“We would continue to monitor what’s happening there. We believe that we have gotten rid of all of the (recent) issues (of contamination), but we need keep an open eye. We need to have a clear mind as to what is happening at the Basseterre High School and of course we will always engage in dialog with members of the wider community as to how we can continue to do what we are to do at the Basseterre High School and other schools throughout the country,” said Mr. Carty.
He said the Ministry of Education ended 2013 distributing the laptop computers to students.
“Laptops were distributed to teachers in March/April of last year 2013 and so we started off this year thinking about how we can bring our educational leaders, managers and teachers into a position where they are in a state to make the very best use of the resources which are been put at their disposal and to assist students in their quest to use the Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools that we are giving them to maximize their own learning and to basically use these tools to fashion the futures they want for themselves,” said Minister Carty.
He disclosed that there is a lot going on in education and the Ministry will soon launch a new education project soon which will focus on technical and vocational training.