Education Minister Pleased With Repair Work to Grand Bahama Schools

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CLASSROOMS READY – Minister of Education Science and Technology the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald is pictured during a press briefing at the Sir Jack Hayward Junior High School on Friday. He said he was impressed with the work being done in preparation for the 2015/2016 academic year. Left to right seated are: Mr. Fitzgerald; Shennan Rolle, Principal of the Sir Jack Hayward Secondary School and Dr. Michael Darville, Minister for Grand Bahama. Standing left to right are: Dorothy Kemp, District Superintendent for East Grand Bahama; Mary Russell, District Education Officer, East Grand Bahama; and Mary Cooper, District Superintendent, West Grand Bahama. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)
CLASSROOMS READY – Minister of Education Science and Technology the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald is pictured during a press briefing at the Sir Jack Hayward Junior High School on Friday. He said he was impressed with the work being done in preparation for the 2015/2016 academic year. Left to right seated are: Mr. Fitzgerald; Shennan Rolle, Principal of the Sir Jack Hayward Secondary School and Dr. Michael Darville, Minister for Grand Bahama. Standing left to right are: Dorothy Kemp, District Superintendent for East Grand Bahama; Mary Russell, District Education Officer, East Grand Bahama; and Mary Cooper, District Superintendent, West Grand Bahama. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – Education Minister, the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald spent two full days, Thursdays and Friday, in Grand Bahama touring all government schools to view firsthand the preparations being made for the for the 2015/2016 academic year.

One of his finals stops on Friday morning was the Sweetings Cay School and Sir Jack Hayward Secondary School, where Minister Fitzgerald announced that he is very pleased with the workmanship and likewise the efforts by teachers and principals in preparation for the new school year.

The Minister was also extremely grateful to the Minister for Grand Bahama the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville and his team for the effort they put forth at ensuring the schools were ready.

The Ministry of Education has invested substantial sums of monies in school repairs over the past four years and according to Mr. Fitzgerald some $1 million was spent getting all Grand Bahama schools ready, inclusive of the Eight Mile Rock High School which in recent times has had its share of problems.

The Minister in a press briefing at the Sir Jack Hayward Secondary School admitted that “this is the best the schools have ever looked for opening. He also did not foresee any challenges with respect to teacher shortages.

“We had a plan of action over the last couple of years. We met some challenges and we took a proactive approach and a streamlined approach over a number of years as to how we were going to invest and this year I want to commend you (Dr.

Darville) first of all for overseeing the work and being the catalyst that continued to push, and I want to congratulate all of the contractors: “I have to say they did an incredible job, all of them. Every principal I went to said they went beyond the call of duty,” he said.

Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville pointed out that over the past two days they had toured all the Government Schools on Grand Bahama and that it was a pleasure working with all the principals and the technical teams and contractors.

“I am pleased to say that the school repair is going on extremely well and we anticipate no major problems for school’s opening on the 31st of August. We have just finalized some of the small punch list from all of the principals and I am certain that all of the students on Grand Bahama will be back to school in facilities prepared for the entire school year.

“So I want to thank the Minister and the entire team here at the Ministry of Education where we worked very closely this year to solve some complicated issues with the infrastructure in the Primary as well as the Secondary school system.

“I think a substantial amount of monies have been invested to ensure that our students have full access to good infrastructure so that teachers can function in the right environment, and our students will be in a position to learn,” Dr. Darville said.