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A Loss of School Days and 170 Million Dollars Needed to Repair Damage


Tropical storm Sandy has cost schools a number of teaching days which will have a severe impact on the education of the nation’s pupils. School were ordered shut by the Ministry of Education as part of the disaster preparedness plans. School were also told to secure pupil data and other important information and property in regards to those schools that have been designated as official shelters.  It was hoped by the ministry that the potential damage, if any, done to school buildings will be minimal so as not to hinder the resumption of schools or create a high repair cost which the ministry will have to fund.

The estimated repair bill to schools is believed to be in the region of 170 million dollars. The Ministry of Education which is already cash strapped will more than likely have to divert funds from another area to repair these schools.

The difficulty facing the ministry was highlighted when it was decided to reopen Swallowfield Primary School despite two classrooms not having any roof.  A temporary solution has been put in place so as to facilitate the reopening of the school and this temporary solution involved the use of a tarpaulin to cover the two classrooms. The Government and the Ministry of Education are in serious 'financial trouble' and nobody knows when these schools are likely to be fixed and if the past is anything to go by it will take a long time. Many schools across the island took a long time to recover from the damage caused by Gilbert and Ivan.