Hurricane Dorian affected nearly 800 teachers and caused $72 million in damage to schools in The Bahamas, a report by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) revealed.
“Following the passage of the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian, Grand Bahama and Abaco were the two hardest hit islands, incurring widespread damage to most educational facilities,” the report’s executive summary notes.
“Across both islands, there were 45 educational facilities experiencing varying levels of damage with 10,546 students and 796 teachers affected. Seven schools were altogether destroyed.
“On Abaco, there were 23 educational facilities impacted with 3,512 students and 211 teachers affected while Grand Bahama had 24 educational facilities impacted with 7,034 students and 585 teachers affected.
“At the time of this report and following the registration drive conducted by the Ministry of Education, approximately 1,500 displaced students had been reassigned to alternative schools across the islands of The Bahamas.”
The storm, which devastated Abaco and Grand Bahama in early September, caused $6.8 million in educational losses.
The report estimates $21 million in additional costs incurred during recovery efforts.
“They include the removal of rubble, school furniture to accommodate reassigned students and teachers, special equipment to conduct classes, fencing, security, school meals, payment of grants, security, psychosocial support to teachers and staff, enrolment fees and costs associated with the enrolment drive conducted by the Ministry of Education for displaced students,” it notes.
“The estimated costs across the two islands were equally distributed despite the student and teacher population on Abaco being significantly smaller than that of Grand Bahama; an indication of the magnitude of the damage on Abaco.”
The report notes that public institutions bore the “brunt of the costs” with an estimated total cost of $74 million.
The data in the report, which was released on Friday, was compiled by the IDB and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
The information was gathered between September 31, 2019 and October 5, 2019 with the assessment team visiting the most impacted areas – east Grand Bahama and Marsh Harbour, Abaco – on October 1 and 2.