Work at Vocational School stalled, Minister not pleased

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Hon. Ms Silveria Jacobs

SOUTH REWARD – Minister of Education Silveria Jacobs has disclosed that construction work on the St. Maarten Vocational Training School will not be finished in time for the new school year.

“Four classrooms not being finished. We have been recently been made aware that the contractor has slowed down the works, even though he has had several opportunities…and was supposed to finish since February,” Minister Jacobs said.

The four classes have been housed in Belvedere, and later back to the school, and this has been quite tedious. She also foresees a problem with the number of new students greater than those who just graduated, meaning there won’t be enough space to house the incoming students.

This adds to the challenges the Ministry has been facing in recent months as it pertains to infrastructure repairs, and renovations on the various schools. In addition to the Vocational School, there are challenges with the Prins Willem Alexander School, which was evacuated due to the presence of asbestos.

Jacobs noted, however, that the students are being housed in a separate and suitable location. There are also renovation and maintenance work slated for other schools including the Charles Leopold Bell School, Prins Willem Alexander School and the Milton Peters College (MPC). However, there is only one department that exacts these repairs – VROMI, which already has a lot of work and is short-staffed. “It’s quite challenging and we are facing those challenges head on,” the Minister said.