Director of Education Dominique McCartney-Russell appeared at a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister on Thursday where she gave an update on ongoing repairs to schools in the country ahead of the new school year.

McCartney-Russell spoke to changing in the approach to school maintenance which is presently done during the summer break. “We’re seeking to implement a year round maintenance program that includes hazard mapping so that we can mitigate some of the smaller need for repairs so that by the time we get to summer we’re only focused on those structural, plumbing and electrical issues. And so that’s something that we’re assiduously working on because we realize that there is a need for a year round maintenance program,” she said.

The shortage of teachers is also being addressed ahead of the opening of schools. McCartney-Russell said, “we are not there yet. As I said, we still need fifty five teachers but where there is a need we are seeking to engage our retirees as supply teachers. And then of course we would have advanced paperwork to ask for some to come back on a contract. And so we believe that for the most part we will be ready. We have a team working well to ensure, particularly that our family islands are outfitted because that’s where we have a lot of the issues last year, so we’re ensuring that that is done.”

The Education Director said they have been assured by contractors that they will be ready for the start of school.