Minister of Education, Santia Bradshaw, has given early notice that some schools will not be ready for the opening of the new school year in September noting that environmental problems are plaguing several schools.
Speaking as the House of Assembly debated a request for a supplementary to complete work at the Anne Hill School that caters to special needs children, Miss Bradshaw blamed the state of schools on what she felt was the lack of a proper preventative maintenance program under the last administration and shoddy work on the part of some contractors.
In addition, she listed a range of environmental challenges from rat and bat droppings to cow itch.
Miss Bradshaw told the House that through the allocation of additional funds for school repairs during the long summer vacation her ministry has increased the number of schools being renovated. She says the situation is urgent with a lot of school time being lost.
The education minister explained why the opening of some schools may have to be delayed.
Miss Bradshaw also highlighted the fact that a number of children across the mainstream school system also have educational challenges and need special attention.
She disclosed that a document produced by a special committee is going to cabinet to set out a strategy for inclusive education which includes diagnostic testing across schools to allow for intervention.