PHILIPSBURG – United People’s (UP) Party Member of Parliament (MP) Maurice Lake said on Thursday that Government is not getting away from its responsibility by getting the private sector more involved in the maintenance of public schools.
MP Lake pointed out that some people in the community are interpreting the “Adopt-A-School” plan in the “Ready to Work for You” 2014-2015 Governing Programme of the UP-led coalition the wrong way.
“It’s nothing new. Several companies, banks, organizations are already good corporate citizens in the field of education. They have set aside funds in their annual budgets to fund school programmes. There is nothing wrong with this.
“As the former Minister of VROMI, I hit the ground running through public/private partnerships, working with the community and businesses to donate to senior citizens and for the adoption of roundabouts. Businesses who came on board took up the charge to maintain and beautify the roundabouts,” UP MP Lake pointed out.
UP MP Lake added that the Causeway roundabout in Cole Bay was adopted by Nature Foundation and the one on the other side of the bridge is taken care of by the Rotary Club. The Lions Club adopted the A.Th. Illidge Road roundabout and Texaco adopted the Cul de Sac roundabout.
“The rest can be adopted by other businesses; a win-win for government and the business community under certain conditions and guidelines in an agreement.
“It’s the same approach for adopting a school. GEBE donates to the Oranje School, and other organizations, PJIA assists Prins Willem Alexander School. Windward Islands Bank donates to our university and other private businesses/organizations donate playgrounds and other educational materials to the different public schools. What is the big fuss all about? This is thinking outside of the box. If we don’t do that we won’t progress as a nation.
“I commend my colleague MP Leona Marlin-Romeo with her initiative of thinking outside of the box and the adopt-a-school program. We have to be creative especially when public funds are short. I also welcome the debate on the Governing Program of this coalition.
“Windward Islands Teachers Union President Claire Elshot has made some good points that are of importance to our teachers. These should be addressed with the Minister of Education and be put in her yearly action plan. You have a Governing Programme and each Minister and Ministry has a yearly action plan which entails any issues with personnel.
“The Minister of Education should sit with the Teachers Union to address the teachers concerns and see what government can do and cannot do based on the budget. Dialogue is key to resolving issues and concerns in an amicable manner. Let’s keep our country moving forward together,” UP MP Maurice Lake concluded in his press statement on Thursday.