12th May 2016
A Cabinet appointed task force is moving ahead with plans to begin addressing overcrowding in the public school system, particularly within secondary institutions.
The team headed by Acting Director of Education, Clare Browne, includes officials from the Ministry of Education, two Secondary School Principals and representatives from the Board of Education, National Housing and Urban Renewal Company, the A&BUT and the Ministry of Works and Housing.
First on their agenda is an assessment of school plants to determine the immediate needs, following which a report will be submitted to Cabinet for consideration. Work is expected to begin during the summer break and will include the construction of new classrooms and bathroom facilities at Princess Margaret, Antigua Girls' High Clare Hall and Jennings Second Schools among other institutions. Cabinet has set aside EC $ 10 million to facilitate the process.
Additionally, as part of the Second Basic Education Project, St. Mary's, Irene B. Williams and Sir Mc. Chesney George Secondary Schools will be rehabilitated, expanded and equipment provided under this project. The aim is to create 58, 764 square feet of space, comprising 13 classrooms, 15 specialist rooms for Science, Home Economics, Industrial Arts, with administrative spaces to accommodate an additional 350 individuals.
As the issue of overcrowding is addressed, The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology will also focus on re-routing students. That is placing them where space is available. At the end of the Grade 6 National Assessment in June, the top one hundred students will receive their choice of school, while the others will be placed according to where they reside.
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