All Schools in Region 4 Back in Operation


Despite an estimated $90 million damage to schools in Region 4 by Hurricane Ivan about two weeks ago, all 157 schools are back in operation, although to a limited extent in some cases.
Approximately six schools across the region still have persons sheltering on their property, but in all six cases the persons are housed in the school cottages. Region 4 consists of schools in the parishes of St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland.
“I am happy to say that although a number of the schools have been severely damaged, all the schools in the region have returned to offer some form of service to their clients. Although some of the schools are still in bad shape, they are still offering service to their students,” Vincent Guthrie, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture’s Regional Director told JIS News.
Mr. Guthrie pointed out that two Westmoreland all-age schools, Petersville and Mt. Peto are open, but have to be holding classes for students in nearby churches, because of the damage done to the schools by the hurricane.
He noted that the Bickersteth and Chatsworth All-age schools and Senior Primary and Infant School in St. James were still sheltering persons in the teacher’s cottages.
In Hanover, persons were still occupying the teacher’s cottage at the Cave Valley Primary School, while in Westmoreland shelter seekers were still occupying the Peggy Barry and Upper Rock Spring All-age Schools teacher’s cottages.
Mr. Guthrie said although there were negative reports about the behaviour of some persons who had to shelter in the schools, overall they did not cause much damage to the institutions. “We have had some not very good reports, but essentially we have heard that overwhelmingly, the persons who were in the centres behaved well, and in some cases the schools’ administrations have been commending persons for being very responsible,” he said.
The Regional Director commended Principals and school Boards for rising to the challenge of putting back the institutions into service. He emphasized that every effort was made not to compromise the health and safety standards of the institutions, while re-opening them.

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