Students displaced by hurricane can enroll in NP, Family Island schools

The government is requesting parents and guardians register students who were displaced by Hurricane Dorian to begin schooling on New Providence or unaffected Family Islands, according to National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Spokesperson Carl Smith.

“Parents and guardians of displaced students ages four through 19 can enroll their students at a government school here in New Providence or on any of the unaffected Family Islands,” he said at a NEMA press conference.

“The Ministry of Education will be registering students at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium beginning Thursday, September 12, continuing until Friday, October 11, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.”

Smith said students will have access to medical screening, uniform and lunch assistance and referrals for counseling services and for enrollment in social, sporting and extra-curricular activities.

“Where available, parents and guardians are requested to provide documentation for their children including their immunization cards,” he said.

“We understand, though, that some people would have lost their documents and will be unable to provide them. We will provide buses to and from each shelter to the national stadium, and shelter managers will be informed of the schedule for registration.

“We are staggering registrations to avoid long lines and long waits. All public school students formerly enrolled in Abaco and Grand Bahama are expected to participate in this process, whether or not they are residing in government shelters. We want to make sure that all students are back in school as soon as possible.”

Director of Education Marcellus Taylor said counseling will be a part of the services provided at the stadium when people go to register for school. In addition, guidance counselors in schools are working with students and teachers affected by the hurricane.

“We will begin offering services for employees, and also it will continue going forward,” he said.

Taylor was asked whether the Ministry of Education is working with other government agencies to establish shelters on Family Islands to encourage enrollment of students there to prevent overcrowding in Nassau schools.

In response, he said: “I think that’s a remit beyond us. We don’t currently see it as an issue, because we’re not getting that level of subscription in the government schools on Family Islands, but I guess your question will call NEMA to think about that.”

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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