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Over $23Million for two new Secondary Schools in 2005/06 Financial Year

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - Over twenty-three (23) million dollars is to be spent by government in the 2005/06 financial year in an attempt to give a further boost to education on the island. The monies will go toward the construction of two new state-of-the-art secondary schools.

The first school will be built in Massade, Gros-Islet on 8.32 acres of land and will contain 20 classrooms, 3 science laboratories, a computer laboratory, a learning resource centre, an art room, and segregated sick bays for male and female students along with individual offices of the principal, vice principal, school bursar, councillor and a 1000-person capacity auditorium.

According to Minister of Education, Human Resource Development, Youth and Sports Hon. Mario Michel, the school will be a four-stream five-form secondary school, designed to accommodate 700 students. The other school will be constructed in Marigot on 10 acres of land and will boast of similar amenities but will forgo the art room for an agricultural/science laboratory instead.

Minister Michel says the construction of the two new schools under the World Bank funded OECS Education Development Plan (OEDP), is part of further attempts by government at moving towards universal secondary education on the island. The continued improvement in students’ performance at all levels of the education system he says, represents money well spent.

As part of his contribution to the 2005/06 debate on the Appropriations Bill, Minister Michel who is the Member of Parliament for Gros-Islet said, “The net result of all of our effort was the continued improvement in the performance of our students as measured by the results of both local and overseas examinations. Again in 2004 as was the case in 2003, there was significant improvement in the performance of our primary school students in the minimum standards test in grade two and grade four and in the Common Entrance Exams in grade six and grade seven.”

Secondary school students he noted, recorded an improvement in the CXC exams with the overall pass rate in General and Technical proficiency subjects moving from 70.63% in 2003 to 71.62% in 2004. Meantime 17 out of the 19 secondary schools taking part in CXC obtained overall pass rates in excess of 50% with five secondary schools obtained pass rates of over 80%.

Government’s allocation to the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development Youth and Sports in the 2005/06 financial year was increased by 30 million dollars over the previous year.

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