British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Oct 23, 2021

Minister moves to fix woeful JVD Primary issues following protest

Minister moves to fix woeful JVD Primary issues following protest

Education Minister and Deputy Premier, Dr Natalio Wheatley moved quickly to remedy a rapidly escalating situation of frustration yesterday, September 15 at the Jost Van Dyke (JVD) Primary School.

Parents, teachers, and students at the school were headed firmly towards protest action after it was reported that the school campus presented various hazardous conditions that endangered the well-being of its students.

According to Second District Representative, Melvin Turnbull, the school reportedly had a number of exposed electrical wires and circuits among other issues such as mould and lack of electricity in certain classrooms.

“Following the information shared on issues in the school last night, I immediately mobilized the team in education to address the situation. [Yesterday], purchase orders were raised and material was bought to prepare for work [today],” the minister told parents of the school last evening.

Dr Wheatley said he visited the school along with the Premier, his assistant secretary and a maintenance supervisor and were shown the problem areas by the principal.

The minister confirmed that the problems at the school were indeed related to electrical, plumbing, air conditioning, and mould.

Dr Wheatley noted that today, an electrician, plumber, A/C technician, and mould specialist are all expected to visit the school.

Parent expresses gratitude, calls off protest action

Meanwhile, at least one member of the Jost Van Dyke community expressed gratitude at the minister’s promise of the urgently needed fixes.

Describing a meeting with the Premier and Dr Wheatley last evening as very productive, the resident said some short and long term measures will be taken to rectify the present situation with school.

The reisdent further said a decision was made to call off all protest action in good faith.

“There’s always strength in numbers. Let’s continue fight the good fight, it is for a better community,” the parent stated.

School temporarily closed to facilitate repairs

Meanwhile, Dr Wheatley announced that the school will be closed today and Friday and will reopen on Monday after the repairs have been addressed.

“We also formulated a proposal to improve conditions for the existing school until a new school building is constructed. We will bring this to the community for discussion shortly,” Dr Wheatley stated.

He added: “I apologise for the present challenges, but we will certainly rectify them. We will always achieve more working together. God bless you all as we look towards a better Jost Van Dyke and a better BVI.”


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