Vinsave Pre-school in Layou reopens in new facility
November 26, 2013

Vinsave Pre-school in Layou reopens in new facility

by Robertson Henry Tue Nov 17, 2013

Teachers and parents of pre-schoolers attending the Vinsave Pre-school at Layou can now breathe sighs of relief following the construction of a new facility on the site of the old wooden, dilapidated building, which was once the primary teacher’s residence.{{more}}

There was very limited storage, floor and yard space, and few pieces of equipment for play by the children either indoors or outdoors. Both pre-schoolers and teachers shared the single toilet, and everyone complained incessantly about the building’s poor condition and safety.

The conditions which existed then had forced some parents to withdraw their children from the school, or to refuse to send them to attend classes for safety reasons, and soon forced the closure of the building in early 2012 for safety concerns.

Subsequent to a request by Vinsave to the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), several visits were paid to the site and after discussions with the director Janice Fraser and other stakeholders, the BNTF determined that more than restorative works were needed.

The location of the building in a blind corner presented a major traffic and pedestrian hazard, and attempts were made to find a suitable alternative location.

With input by the Physical Planning Department and the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, a design was approved, ensuring improved pedestrian and vehicular safety at the corner of the road. Additionally, the open gutter was covered to form a pedestrian sidewalk.

Following the approval of the design by CDB-appointed consultants Gleans Engineering of Grenada, who also supervised the construction of the new building which was undertaken by Grenadines Construction (SVG) Ltd, at a cost of EC$423,000.00. An additional EC$36,000.00 is being spent on indoor and outdoor playing and other equipment, and is expected to be supplied and installed by Christmas 2013.

Speaking at the official handing over ceremony of the new facility on Thursday November 21, 2013, Parliamentary Representative for the Central Leeward constituency Maxwell Charles praised the teachers of the Layou Pre-school.

“You existed and performed creditably over the years. I know this because my first son was a recipient of your education, and I noted well his social, physical and mental development as the weeks and months passed,” he said.

The Parliamentary Representative noted that the school placed his son and others in good stead for life at the primary school and other educational institutions that followed.

“Your activities set up the little ones for a lifetime of learning and success. The importance of the games, such as the building blocks that fall sometimes, problem-solving techniques, and allowing the children to make their own little mistakes and still feel good about themselves,” Charles added.

Moreover, he admired the way the children are congratulated on their successes, which will make them grow onto confident young people, and the manner in which they get along with one another.

Charles, who is also the Minister for National Reconciliation, Information, the Public Service, Labour, and Ecclesiastic Affairs, called on parents to “reinforce the learning by doing your part at home.”

He noted that the younger parents might be problematic, but called on the Parent Teacher Association to play its part in ensuring that all benefit from the operations of the Vinsave Layou Pre-school.

He noted that despite the many trials faced in previous years because of the poor conditions, the teachers stuck to their tasks, and they must be highly commended for that.

Charles called on the teachers to also be mothers to the children, and quoted the biblical passage “Train up a child in the way he should grow and he will not depart from his ways.”

He noted that both parents and teachers should let them enjoy their days so as they grow into adults they will remember their pre-school days.

He reiterated the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines continued collaboration with the BNTF, “for we receive value for our money.”

Patron of VINSAVE and Governor-General of St Vincent and the Grenadines Sir Frederick Ballantyne, in his brief address to the gathering, spoke of the need for such institutions as the Vinsave Layou Pre-school and the role they play in nurturing the men and women of tomorrow.

The student population is expected to increase to almost 50 by January 2014. The population has doubled over the past few months from 18 to 36, as the new Vinsave Layou Pre-school, upon opening its doors, has given confidence to the residents of Layou and surrounding communities that their children are being schooled in a safe environment, conducive to learning.