Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd said yesterday that school repairs on New Providence are 75 percent complete and assured that all schools will be ready by the beginning of the school year in three weeks.
“I’m checking on the schools every single day and I’m very satisfied that the contractors are on schedule, in some instances ahead of schedule, [and we’re] very, very pleased about that,” Lloyd told reporters outside Cabinet.
“You will remember that there are nine New Providence schools which are in a critical state and those contractors are doing an extraordinary job.
“As a matter of fact, we are approximately three weeks away from the opening of school and generally those nine schools are in the neighborhood of 75 percent completed, in terms of repair.”
Lloyd noted that the government will not accept anything less than schools opening on time.
“The unions and our team have been in discussions,” he continued.
“We are working with the contractor. We are providing the mobilization and whatever resources are needed. Schools are going to be opened on time.
“That’s the assurance I’ve been given; that’s the assurance I can give to the Bahamian people.”
Lloyd admitted that the repairs were ambitious because of the scope of works and the limited time frame.
However, he insisted that this is why the government chose experienced contractors to do the work.
“That is why we were very, very, very selective in those contractors. People who are capable of doing it, who can mount the required resources, who didn’t need mobilization in order to get started and those nine contractors, very experienced, have worked for the Ministry of Education, the government and the Ministry of Works over many years,” he said.
“…I assure you, you can go and visit. Many of those schools were in such dire straits in terms of disrepair that they were a safety threat to our people.”
As for the Family Islands, he noted that they too will be completed on time.
“We did get a late start in Exuma, but fortunately the contractor there is very capable also and he is well on his way to completing.”
The renovations are costing the government $9 million.