NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training is embarking upon an accelerated, construction, expansion and repair programme totaling more than $37,000,000.00 to improve and enhance the deteriorated conditions of the 160 plus educational facilities throughout The Bahamas.
Within this programme is the construction of two schools, namely George Town Primary School in Exuma and San Salvador High School both at approximately $10,000,000.00 each.
The Hon. Glenys Hanna-Martin, Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training, in her contribution to the Budget Debate in Parliament Thursday, June 15, 2023 underscored that research shows a strong correlation between teacher morale, student performance and physical conditions at schools.
Minister Hanna-Martin told Parliamentarians that it is necessary to commit to the appropriate financial investment to enhance and improve the physical state of schools as an “indispensable component for ensuring student performance and maintaining morale of administrators and teachers.”
Said the Minister, “Many of our schools have been in almost dilapidated condition and in some cases painfully so. The physical state of some of the facilities has deteriorated to the point where it has become a hazard for students and teachers. In many cases there are spalling concrete and corroded wrought iron railings. Many of our buildings are in excess of 50 years old.
“In this fiscal year this aggressive approach to addressing the physical plant will continue as we pledge to address as best as we are able within the competing budgetary constraints the physical state of our schools – an ongoing and costly but very necessary undertaking.”
Several classroom blocks will be constructed at various schools during the 2023 – 2024 fiscal year to alleviate overcrowding and replacement of structures that have deteriorated. They include:
Cooper’s Town – $3,770,408.00;
Arthur’s Town – $3,919,140.00;
Patrick J. Bethel High School – $4,970,408.00;
Emma Cooper Primary School- $600,000.00;
Construction of the administrative block at Fox Town Primary School- $600,000.00.
Other projects include:
Construction of a covered pavilion at R. M. Bailey High School – $2,600,000.00;
Renovations and expansion of the Ministry of Education’s Supplies and Materials Warehouse $4,500,000.00;
Phase II redevelopment of the Government High School $3,400,000.00.
These projects are expected to be completed and ready for occupancy at the start of the academic year:
(a) Construction of the Staniel Cay All-Age School, Exuma
(b) Construction of Holmes Rock High School, Grand Bahama;
(c) Construction of Lowe Sound Primary School, North Andros;
(d) Construction of the Ragged Island Comprehensive School.