Cooper slams govt. failure to repair Black Point All-Age School

Chester Cooper

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Chester Cooper, the Member of Parliament for Exuma and Ragged Island, on Sunday expressed outrage about the deplorable condition of the Black Point All-Age School in Exuma.

In a statement released yesterday, which was also posted to Cooper’s Facebook page, Cooper said the school remains in a state of disrepair, five months after the opening the 2018 – 2019 school year.

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“I previously raised this issue in the House of Assembly. The fact of the matter is this administration removed oversight of school repairs from those previously responsible to a new contractor, who despite assuring me four months ago that the work had mobilized, has not completed the work as contracted,” Cooper claimed.

“I am trying to determine exactly why this has happened.

“Also, as I did last year, I have brought the deplorable state of the school to the attention of the minister, who has promised that the repairs will take place.

“It is a frustrating state of affairs and in no way acceptable.

“No matter how remote the community, all children in The Bahamas deserve to have comfortable, safe accommodations when receiving their education,” the statement concluded.

Meanwhile, pictures of the Blackpoint All-Age School,  which were posted by Cooper’s Facebook page over the weekend, shows the male bathroom with a missing urinal; large water stains and suspected mould below the male bathroom urinal and behind a bathroom toilet as well as dirty bathroom stalls, sinks and dilapidated windows.

Director of Education Marcellus Taylor told Eyewitness News Online last night that he was aware of the problems with toilets at the Black Point All-Age School and repairs should have been included in the scope of work for public schools last summer.

Taylor said having been out of the country for the past eight days, he would have to get an update from Donavon Turnquest, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education, as physical plant matters would come under this remit.

Taylor explained that every summer, the Ministry hires contractors to carry out a number of repairs to schools, and to his understanding, this includes bathrooms.

He stated, however, that he could not give a final conclusion on the outcome of repairs at Black Point All-Age until he received an update from Turnquest.