JIS News

The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) will be assessing secondary and tertiary level institutions in the parishes of Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Hanover and St. James to determine the level of damage to those institutions as a result of Hurricane Ivan.
Prime Minister, P. J. Patterson, who made the announcement in Parliament yesterday (Sept. 21) said that Cabinet had charged the UDC to conduct the evaluations in the parishes, which were hardest hit during the passage of the hurricane.
He said further, that the newly established Office of National Reconstruction (ONR) would be identifying other professionals to undertake assessments of schools in the other parishes.
The Prime Minister informed that 83 per cent of schools had resumed operation with many of them not operating a full day but finding creative ways to engage students.
Mr. Patterson said supervisors, education officers and other representatives of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture continued to make contact with the institutions to obtain further and better information about their activities.A number of the island’s educational institutions were used as shelters from the onslaught of Hurricane Ivan.
Reports indicate that 10 schools were still being used as shelters, while 63 were not operational. Out of the 63, 10 have been confirmed as being severely damaged and would not be able to reopen in the short term, while 39 were isolated and had not yet been visited by the Ministry’s officials, even though information had been received about their condition.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister said that the Ministry was dealing with its regular and critical programmes such as preparing students for the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) and the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) tests and the Readiness Programme for grade one students. “Education must go on,” Mr. Patterson emphasized.

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