10,000 students displaced by Hurricane Dorian

10,000 students displaced by Hurricane Dorian

The registration process will run until mid-October

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- Ten thousands students have been displaced by catastrophic Hurricane Dorian, which decimated Abaco and Grand Bahama just over a week ago, according to the Ministry of Education.

The ministry said yesterday that in partnership with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the government of The Bahamas began registering the displaced students to enroll them as soon as possible in safe schools that have not been affected by the natural disaster.

“No child in The Bahamas should be at risk of dropping out of school because of Dorian,” Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd said.

“As a nation, we will not let this happen. Our paramount concern is to make sure all students are back to school as soon as possible.

“After the devastating impact left by Hurricane Dorian, education is our best investment and a cornerstone of the whole reconstruction process. Dorian may have put us on our knees, but education will bring us back on our feet.”

The ministry said the decision to invite parents and guardians of displaced students, ages 4 through 19, to seek enrollment in government schools starting in New Providence was welcomed by UNICEF.

The registration process began yesterday at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, but not without some challenges as several parents and guardians seeking to register children were reportedly turned away.

Eyewitness News understands that children residing in the shelters are being given priority. The ministry said registration is taking placed on a scheduled basis, beginning with children residing in the Kendal G. L. Isaacs Gymnasium

There were those who said expressed appreciation for the initiative.

Brenda Richards a Murphy Town, Abaco resident, said she is grateful for the effort made by the government agencies to assist. “I’m appreciative of it,” she said. “Like I told someone this morning, food and clothes right now don’t matter. I am trying to get my daughter back into school and once I can get her back into school, then I can focus on clothes because she lost everything.”

The program is expected to be “gradually” roled out in other areas of the country in the coming weeks.

The registration process will run until mid-October.