Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (right), in conversation with (from left) Minister of Education, Ronald Jones; Minister of Industry, Denis Kellman and Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, during a tour of the Maria Holder Nursery. (A. Miller/BGIS)

Members of Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, today took the opportunity to tour two recently completed educational institutions, which are scheduled to open their doors at the beginning of the new school year.

The Government Ministers visited the Maria Holder Nursery, located in Sharon, St. Thomas, as well as the Blackman Gollop Primary, situated in Edgerton, Christ Church, where they saw first-hand the spanking new facilities designed for children in the schools’ respective catchment areas.

Lauding the effective utilisation of the space allotted to build the two schools, the Prime Minister noted that the new structures were another indication of Government’s commitment to education in this island.

He also praised the unique features of each school – Blackman Gollop for having parts of the building specially designed for use as a hurricane shelter, and the Maria Holder Nursery, for committing to the maintenance of green spaces.?? Architects were also lauded for incorporating adequate space for auxiliary staff at both plants.

Prime Minister Stuart also pointed out that with the provision of the school building, it was up to students and teachers to create a positive school culture.?? "…these are school buildings; school now has to be created, finalised and put in good shape by the teachers and the students that are going to occupy it.??

"We can build school buildings but a school connotes and denotes the conscious creation of a particular culture and I have no doubt that the teachers…are readying themselves for the task of ensuring that the amalgamation of these two facilities is as seamless as possible and that a genuine school culture can be created here for the benefit of Barbados’ children," he said.

Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, also reiterated Government’s commitment to education in Barbados.

He explained that the Maria Holder Nursery school which cost BDS$1.5 million to construct, would house 120 children, while the Blackman Gollop Primary, which was built to the tune of BDS$7.7 million, would cater to 630 students.

The interior courtyard??of the Blackman Gollop Primary School. (A. Miller/BGIS)??

Speaking specifically about the Blackman Gollop Primary, Mr. Jones was adamant that parents of students there and other persons in the community would be fully integrated into the school.

"We are dealing with educating a nation, and we educate a nation, village by village and community by community and we involve all of our various partners in that educational pursuit.?? So all of the parents and other individuals who pass through this area will be fully integrated in the use of this facility; one of the [requests] I have made is that the playing field is not only to be used by students, but to be fully open to be used by the [surrounding] communities…Any facility built by the Government must serve the people," he stated.????????????


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