Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, (right)??makes a point during a press briefing today at his Ministry. At left is Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, Patrick Todd.

All public schools, with the exception of St. Ambrose Primary, are physically ready to receive students, when the Michaelmas school term begins tomorrow, September 2.

This was revealed today by Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones during a press conference at the Ministry’s, Constitution Road headquarters.

Mr. Jones noted that the St. Ambrose Primary School, which had been rebuilt over the summer vacation, was now scheduled to start classes next Monday, September 7, due to "ongoing industrial cleaning and minor outfitting of the classroom and the infant department".

Minister Jones urged teachers to focus on the youth in their care as they carried out their "charge" to educate young people during this 2009 to 2010 academic year.?? In turn, he encouraged students to stay focused and to commit themselves to learning, during the school year.??

"What I don’t want to see this year is a whole number of students getting to school late.?? We have put in place the transportation system to move them to and from schools. Last year, with the start of the free bus rides, some students, after a period of time, started to do a bit of joyriding on the buses … We want to see that eliminated," he said.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, Patrick Todd, also spoke about the beginning of the school term. He pointed out that he was working specially with private schools at both the primary and secondary level, to ensure that the vital role played by the private education sector was supported by government. "[This is] so that there can be a symbiotic relationship and any deficiencies in terms of limited places in the public school sector can be filled by a quality standard of education in the private sector", he observed.??

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Bruce Alleyne, added his voice, by asking members of the public and students alike, to desist from vandalising schools around the island.?? He stressed that during the summer programme the Ministry spent some BDS$1.3 million on the refurbishment of 20 schools and a total of BDS$110 million on the upgrading and the rebuilding of two schools.??

"To do that and then to have the schools vandalised is an added burden on taxpayers …. Understand it is our money; it is not money coming from the sky. Once we have to go in and do repairs due to damage, this impact on the pockets of all of us," he emphasised.??

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