NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd announced yesterday that a school will be built in High Rock, Grand Bahama to accommodate the population of the four schools damaged in that East Grand Bahama during the passage of Hurricane Dorian.
The deadly Category 5 storm which decimated parts of Grand Bahama and Abaco in early September, caused nearly $100 million in damages to educational facilities, according to a recent Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) report.
Additional some 10, 000 students and 1,200 school staff were impacted as a result of the storm.
As he spoke to the matter during the 2019/2020 midyear budget debate, Lloyd once again underscored that “every single school in Grand Bahama and Abaco were damaged or destroyed…not a single school building or Ministry of Education facility was untouched.”
“I can report to this House of Assembly that a decision has been made by the ministry to build a single comprehensive school in High Rock Grand Bahama, which will accommodate the entire population of the four severely damaged school,” Lloyd revealed.
“It is further proposed that a new primary school be constructed to replace the Treasure Cay Primary School, plans which are very much underway.”
The IDB study titled, “Assessment of the Effects and Impacts of Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas”, noted that the estimated costs across the two islands were equally distributed, despite the student and teacher population on Abaco being significantly smaller than that of Grand Bahama.
Forty-five education facilities – with varying levels of damage – 10,546 students and 796 teachers were affected as a result of the storm, according to the IDB.
Altogether, seven schools were destroyed.
The education minister yesterday touted the quick work of his ministry to ensure that those students who were impacted were able to receive their education through distance learning or temporary placement in schools in New Provicen and throughout The Bahamas
“Patrick Bethel and Central Abaco Primary in Abaco cannot open because they are so severely damaged,” Lloyd added.
“They are among the 23 schools on both islands that need over $25 million in urgent repair.
“The Ministry of Education getting to work as it did, immediately after the storm, spent some $2.6 million so that schools in those respective islands can open as quickly as they did.
“Of the 19 Grand Bahama schools, 12 of them need additional repair totaling nearly $5 million.
“Of the 15 Abaco public schools 11 need additional repairs at a cost of approximately $17 million.”