February 5, 2021
Provisions in the budget to build new school in Sandy Bay – King

There are provisions in the 2021 Budget for a new secondary school to be constructed in the Sandy Bay community.

Allocations have also been made for primary and secondary schools across the nation to benefit from needed repairs.

Curtis King, the minister of education outlined the plans for a School Improvement Project this week, as he made his contribution to the Budget Debate.

The education minister said that construction of the new school in the Sandy Bay area is scheduled to commence this year.

King, who retired as Headmaster of the St Vincent Grammar School shortly before entering the realm of politics, expressed elation in Parliament on Wednesday as he revealed the all-boy institution to be one of the secondary schools listed for significant repair work.

“And I know how many times in the past that I lamented that that school needs a plant that is appropriate to the quality of students past and present, that it has produced,” he said.

The Bequia Community High School, St Clair Dacon Secondary School, Girls’ High School and Thomas Saunders Secondary School will also benefit from the repair programme in the upcoming period.

Three primary schools; the Kingstown Anglican School, the Barrouallie Anglican School and the Barrouallie Government School will also benefit from repairs.

“We are not going to be operating any shift system…what we are going to doing, while these schools are being repaired, we are going to have temporary schools constructed to house the students and teachers, so that their education will not be further disrupted,” King told Parliament.

The education minister also made mention of the Mary Hutchinson Primary School on Union Island, noting that students are currently being housed in the Learning Resource Centre on that Southern Grenadines island.

He said it is the intention to have these students removed from that space very soon.

“To this end, under the redevelopment of the Mary Hutchinson School Project, the sum of $0.9 million has been allocated to the demolition of the old school plant and again to provide a temporary classroom so that their education would not be disrupted. We will also use some of that fund for the design of the new school,” King said.

According to finance minister Camillo Gonsalves’ Budget Presentation on Monday, February 1, infrastructural improvements will also be made to the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College.

The expansion to the Calliaqua Anglican School is also to be completed.

Gonsalves said in his presentation this week that these plans account for at least $14 million of this year’s budget.

Over $3 million has also been budgeted this year for the procurement of computers for secondary schools — part of the government’s thrust to upgrade schools’ computer labs.

The finance minister also said $9.4 million has been allocated in the 2021 Budget for developments in the area of Technical, Vocational and continuing education.

This allocation is expected to facilitate SMART classrooms at Georgetown, Campden Park, Kingstown and Barrouallie TVET institutes, the design and supervision of a Marriaqua Technical Institute, the upgrading of the Petit Bordel Multipurpose Centre and Canouan Government school to allow for the delivery of TVET instruction and upgrades to the Glen and Layou adult learning centres.

The education minister said that his government continues to “work steadfastly to improve the quality of the infrastructure at all of our educational institutions”.