Opposition Senator Michael Darville is calling on MICAL MP Miriam Emmanuel to stand up and say something on the issue involving the amalgamation of the school system in Mayaguana.
“It is interesting that in the face of all of this, the duly elected member for MICAL has not made a public intervention and remains silent to date.”
Darville said combining the primary and secondary public schools in Mayaguana is “a regressive education policy and a move backwards to the outdated ‘all age school’ education system.”
He said Education Minister Jeff Lloyd is ignoring the cries of the community, but he awaits Emmanuel’s response to the plight of her constituents.
What happened to the school system in Mayaguana?
Education officials closed the public schools, Abraham’s Bay High School and Pirates Well Primary school to combine the education system on the southern island.
Lloyd said this was the best move and Education Director Marcellus Taylor agreed, saying it allows for all teachers to teach on one site instead of leaving to teach at the other building.
Taylor said this new move will improve teaching and learning on the island as enrollment decreases.
Abraham’s Bay High School would become the administration building.
Where would the schools be relocated?
The schools will be relocated to the proposed refurbished site in Pirate’s Well which is the Lodge Hall building.
Teachers Union Leader Belinda Wilson said the government should pause the move until all parties come to an agreement. She described the lodge building as “dilapidated.”
Darville said the building is inadequate, not COVID-19 compliant and believes the refurbishment cannot be completed in time for school opening.
What do parents want?
On August 7th, parents and students held a protest, demanding that the schools remain as is, saying it allows for social distancing in an era of COVID-19.
One mother said the settlement of Betsy Bay was crippled by the closure.