Minister of Education, Ronald Jones and Richard Harrison, Project Educator,??complete their tour of Erdiston Special School??today before school resumes??on Monday, September 10. (A.Miller/BGIS)??

Hundreds of primary school students will be returning to new and improved facilities next Monday, following the completion of refurbishment projects at 17 institutions across the island.

Speaking during a tour of the Christ Church Girls School, one of four schools visited today, Minister of Education, Ronald Jones, said that he was satisfied with the work done and noted that these improvements would help increase the productivity levels of students and teachers alike.

"Every year we spend between 1.3 to 1.5 million dollars in the summer [refurbishment] programme, which is money well spent…The environment has to be conducive for persons to work and students to study…," the Minister said.

Noting that work at Christ Church Girls, which will now feature a canopy-covered area to serve as its school hall – would be completed in three weeks, Mr. Jones gave the assurance that completion of the project would not disrupt classes, with the work to be done during evenings and weekends.??

With reference to other endeavours undertaken to improve education on the island, Minister Jones spoke to the contribution made by the Education Sector Enhancement Programme. He noted that schools were making headway in becoming more technologically savvy and highlighted the Education Management Information System (EMIS) as a tool which helped teachers do their jobs more efficiently.

The Education Minister added that "there are some [EMIS] modules to be deployed, especially the parent module, where parents can also monitor what children are doing – their grades and remarks made about the students…

"There is still some way to go, I think that we are conscious that so many others in the Caribbean are also on board this technological train…we have to push back those barriers we encounter to ensure that those tens of millions of dollars which have been spent in the hardware and software and the infrastructural enhancement will have the kind of impact that we would want."

Other schools toured today were: Erdiston Special School, which now features an extension to the Principal’s office and staff room; Vauxhall Primary, which has had a complete electrical refurbishment along with the replacement of timber by wall at the eastern side of the school; and St. John Primary, which now boasts a new roof on its main building.


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