Minister Jacobs: Ministry is occupied with synchronization of this govt’s vision

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PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Silveria Jacobs gave an update in Wednesday’s, January 25, Council of Ministers press briefing, on a few matters pertaining to her Ministry.

Last Wednesday, a meeting was held with management and staff of the Leonald Conner School in order to update them. Staff and management were also given the opportunity to voice their concerns. Those based at the Charles Leopald Bell school, which is still partially under construction, brought forward some concerns.

“Some of the works, which needed to be finalized, have been discussed with the contractors as a result of these conversations with the teachers and management and while some have been executed already during this week and the weekend, the last will be finalized or will require at least 15 working days to be completed. The contractors are aiming to finalize all the work at this location by February 10, 2017,” Minister Jacobs stated.

The Minister thanked “the hosting schools for bearing with us during this interim period while we try to work out the logistics.”

Currently, “Electrical upgrades and AC installations can take place at LCS. I must say that I’m happy to see that they can begin shortly. I won’t specify a particular date as we are finalizing between this week how the funding will be executed. However, it has been approved and as we move forward we expect that, as the contractors have mentioned, that they expect it would take 4-6 weeks to be completed,” Jacobs continued.

She asked school management and staff for their patience in the next 4-6 weeks. “Let’s say 7 weeks maximum hopefully, before they are reinstated at their location,” she said.

Minister Jacobs also updated on the Prins Willem Alexander school project, “which had had a groundbreaking, but had been stalled due to the necessary removal of asbestos from the building before the demolition could take place.”

A meeting was scheduled to take place with the St. Peters Community Council and following that meeting, “it was decided to host another public meeting, which will be held on Thursday, January 26, with the Ministry of VROMI Department of New Projects Development, and Planning, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, the Division Public Education, and the community at large.”

That meeting was scheduled to be held at Rupert Maynard Center at 7:30pm in St. Peters in order to further inform the residents of the community on the asbestos removal, how it will be done, and what precautions are being taken to ensure everyone’s safety.

This meeting will be attended by representatives of VROMI, the contractor Designers Choice, a company of independent consultant engineers, other construction management and site supervision company, and the St. Peter’s Community Council, who are hosting the meeting. Jacobs invited the St. Peters community to attend this very important updating meeting in order to receive the necessary information.

She also reminded about the “Man to Man straight talk” conference, with a no-holds barred conversation, which will be scheduled for this Saturday, January 28, from 7:00pm to 9:00 at the Philipsburg Cultural Center. Entrance is free.

Jacobs also issued a reminder to students of the iStep logo competition deadline, which is January 31. The general public, students of the primary and secondary schools are reminded to submit their entries before that date.

“As a Ministry, we are currently very occupied with the synchronization of the vision of this government with the year plans of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, and this is happening across the board, but I must say we did start the process a bit earlier by having collaborations and meetings with management,” Jacobs stated.

“Management has submitted their draft year plans, which are under revision and hopefully within the next two weeks, we can finalize these plans so that as a ministry, we can move forward in achieving our vision in moving education, culture, youth and sports forward, and making a difference for those very important young people within our community,” Minister Jacobs concluded.