Statement From The Ministry Of Education, Youth Affairs And Sports
On Conditions At The Jost Van Dyke Primary School
Tuesday 31st October 2023
The Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports, recognises that the Jost Van Dyke Primary School (JVDPS) is subjected to constant flooding when it rains. For this reason, the construction of the new school, remains an urgent priority and is currently in the final stages of completion.
The recent unprecedented rains over the weekend of October 27th to 29th, caused much flooding in several areas, including the JVDPS. Due to the effects of the inclement weather and lack of electricity, the Ministry decided that students should remain at home on Monday, October 30th, 2023.
On Tuesday, October 31st, 2023, at 8:58 a.m., the principal of the JVDPS, reported that the grounds of the school were swampy and that in some of the classrooms, there was water seepage because of the rains.
Educators were therefore advised to continue with online learning until the grounds dried and the conditions of the learning environment was more conducive for teacher and student use. Parents were notified and Ministry personnel were dispatched to the island immediately to assess and seek to remedy the situation.
The Ministry had hoped that the new school would have been ready for our teachers and students at the beginning of the school year in September, but was notified of delays to the project in July 2023, which extended the end date to October 15th, 2023.
On October 25th, 2023, the Ministry received an updated report from the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA), citing December 15th, 2023 as the new date for the completion of the project. The report stated that as a result of material delay, primarily due to protracted lead times in procurement and logistical challenges experienced by the contractor, the new move in date is now set to January, 2024.
The Ministry continues to work closely with the principal to ensure that the students of Jost Van Dyke have access to education in a safe learning environment.
The completion of the new structure is a priority by the Ministry as it is the best long-term solution to the current issues.
The Ministry of Education continues to ensure that safety and quality educational services remain a priority at all schools in the Territory of the Virgin Islands.