Despite constant assurances, Oakes Field primary and A.F. Adderley junior high schools will not be ready for opening at the start of the 2018/2019 school year, according to the works minister.
Three weeks ago, Eyewitness News questioned Education Minister Jeffery Lloyd about repairs to schools across the capital being completed by the start of the new semester on September 3, to which he repeatedly insisted that he was given assurances by the works minister, that schools would be ready.
“The Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Works and Education … work in tandem to get these schools repaired. [Schools on] New Providence [are] primarily the responsibility of the Ministry of Works, and the minister has assured us that the contracts have been signed and are being signed this week and the mobilization will be given to those contractors this week,” Lloyd told Eyewitness News at beginning of August.
“We also know that many of those contractors would have already begun the work because they need the six or seven weeks to get the large scope of works done in the respective school. The smaller contractors are waiting on that mobilization and I have been assured that, that mobilization will be provided this week before the 3 of August, in which time they will essentially have four weeks to get those works done. I have been assured and I am standing by that assurance that schools will be ready,” he said at the time.
However, when Eyewitness News visited numerous campuses in the capital last week, there was a number of infrastructural works still underway.
Works Minister Desmond Bannister admitted late last week to the work not being complete in time and explained specifically about Oakes Field primary undergoing what he said more or less amounts to a complete overhaul.
“Now I saw a headline in relation to Oakes Field Primary school, and I think everybody should understand that Oakes Field Primary school is essentially not a summer job,” Bannister said.
“It’s really essentially a rebuilding of that whole school. So, it is not going to be finished in the summertime. That is one of the schools that is renowned for its academic reputation. The facilities were never adequate for the children who go there and you’re going to see essentially a new school there so it will not be finished in the summertime.”