School repairs and security high on education minister’s agenda

POSTED: 06/22/12 2:31 PM

St. Maarten – Contractors have a little over a month to complete repair works at several major public schools on the island. Minister of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth Affairs Silveria Jacobs announced that the public schools rehabilitation schedule was “on stream.” The Prins Willem Alexander and the Dr. Martin Luther King schools stand to benefit from this. The latter school will see its entry way and parking area being paved. The M. Genevieve de Weever School is expected to be completed in time for the new school, the Minister said, adding that repair works will include the paving of its parking area and interior renovations. Furniture for students and teachers, though, is still to be confirmed.
Like the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) School in Colebay, the M. Genevieve de Weever School has become a cause of concern for parents, students, teachers and even the unions. Grievances from varied contractors and, on some occasions, the unavailability of building material forced the stoppage of construction work at both elementary institutions. While Minister Jacobs has committed to work at M. Genevieve de Weever finally coming to a completion, the same cannot be said for the SDA School. Just last week, Jacobs was optimistic that work would reconvene on the two classrooms and gym at the facility but did not foresee it being finished in time for the new school year.
While construction work is ongoing in the day, the education ministry will be assessing the current security mechanisms in place for all public schools during the vacation period. Minister Jacobs admitted that most burglaries occur during the closure of schools, adding that, “We are doing everything within our power to ensure that schools are secured during the time that they are closed. It is being looked at to see how we are spending money.”
Public schools are currently secured by Sheriff Security Force N.V.

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