Ministry continues efforts on school construction
The Ministry of Education has continued its thrust toward the securing of funds geared toward school construction and completion.
Under the first phase of the construction programme, twenty-seven (27) schools have been identified as being at advanced stages of completion and as such would be the genesis projects to kick start the drive toward giving Trinidad and Tobago the quality education facilities that will support teaching and learning.
It has been noted by the Ministry that some parents are engaging in protests calling for schools to be rebuilt or completed and Minister of Education the Honourable Anthony Garcia has again explained why the Ministry of Education and the government are currently at this juncture with school construction.
Minister Garcia explained “It is the constitutional right of every citizen of this country to protest but protest should be engaged while knowing and understanding the facts. At a joint media conference with the Ministers of Finance and Planning we explained the situation we met when we assumed office; contracts awarded without approvals, inflated costs of projects and overall a huge amount of debt that needed to be cleared.
It was also explained that while we have been working on paying monies owed to contractors, over seven hundred million dollars ($700,000,000), it would still take in excess of three billion dollars to do the level of construction work desired for Trinidad and Tobago. As an educator all my life, I understand and empathise with protestors for new schools however I can state that new school or not, students will always have access to teaching and learning and that is critical for their educational development.”
Following stories in the media about challenges at some school construction sites, the Ministry of Education's Health Safety Security and the Environment Division and Educational Facilities Procurement and Planning Division will be working with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to ensure that all sites are properly secured and that all materials invested into these projects remain safe.