Hon. Philip “Brave” Davis M.P.
Deputy Leader of The Progressive Liberal Party
& Member of Parliament for Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador
30th August, 2010
Re: Concerns at Old Bight High School, Cat Island
& Rum Cay All Age School, Rum Cay
It was with a heavy heart that I received reports this morning that Old Bight High School in Old Bight, Cat Island was unable to open today due to incomplete school repairs and insufficient teachers. In spite of the Government and Minister of Education’s ongoing public relations exercise, the children of south Cat Island were forced to stay home and miss valuable school time today. I am advised that the school is in disrepair with school repairs having started only one week ago. This is totally unacceptable and a slap in the face of the children of Cat Island. The Government was aware for months of the need to get the school in order for this new academic year. By all accounts the necessary repairs will remain ongoing for some time. All children of the Bahamas deserve to go to school in a safe environment.
In fact, Old Bight and south Cat Island is overdue for a new high school.
Additionally, I am advised that there is a serious shortage of teachers at the Old Bight High School. Up to this past weekend, the school needed an additional eight (8) teachers to meet basic education requirement and to effectively provide the standard and quality of education that Cat Islanders deserve. Such a critical shortage is deplorable. The children of Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador deserve better.
I have also been informed by the residents of Rum Cay that there is also a lack of teachers at the Rum Cay All Age School. There was only a principal in place today. The principal expected teachers this morning but no one arrived. The school requires at least two assistant teachers to be fully staffed. On the first day of school there was none. This cannot be right.
I implore the Government as a matter of urgency to address these teacher shortages. This is no time for public relations exercises but rather ensuring that our children return to school and that there are sufficient teachers in place. The children of Cat Island, Rum Cay & San Salvador have been victims of Government neglect for far too long and cannot afford to be left behind. After all, they are Bahamians too!