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‘Schools in best shape possible’

Term time is delayed at Clearwater Middle School until Friday due to a faulty air conditioning unit (File photograph)

The opening of the school term will be delayed at Clearwater Middle School until tomorrow because of a fault in the air-conditioning unit.

However, according to acting education commissioner Freddie Evans, the rest of the island’s schools are adequately prepared for the start of term today despite extensive maintenance works having been conducted over the summer.

Dr Evans said: “We are pleased with the efforts by our facilities team and our school custodians who have been doing a tremendous job and we have been supported by Works and Engineering and Public Works Departments.

“We have been taking care of some longstanding maintenance issues — our schools are old, there are a lot of things that need to be done but I am very pleased that as a team we have been working to ameliorate all the difficulties in trying to have the schools in the best shape for our students as possible.

“Operations are as normal. We are probably in the best shape we have been in a while.

“Minor works are an ongoing thing and there will be work that will happen during the school year and more things that will happen during the term break.

“Schools are houses of activity and so as such they need a lot of maintenance and so it is an ongoing process.

“There will be work going on. It doesn’t stop.”

Dr Evans said the installation of playgrounds at Harrington Sound Primary School, Gilbert Institute and West Pembroke Primary School had not yet taken place but it is understood that completion is imminent.

“Those are things that schools will be excited about, becoming an active part of our schools,” he added.

Education minister Wayne Scott told this newspaper earlier yesterday: “We have been around to a bunch of schools and they all seem to be in good shape. We think we have everything in place.

“We have our supplies and all the staff in place. Invariably there are things that come up at the last minute but we think we have done a pretty good job of preparing the schools and we are going to continue to stay on top of things.

“To have our maintenance schedule online where the public can look at it and hold the system accountable is a good thing. So far I have not had any red flags brought to my attention.”