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Construction to Begin at Secondary School in April

 LITTLE BAY – Work is expected to begin in April on two temporary buildings at the Montserrat Secondary School (MSS), while they discuss the construction of a new campus in the North, according to Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo.

During his delivery of the 2015/16 Budget for the government, Premier Romeo said the “MSS campus is almost 45 years old and continues to deteriorate; this budget includes a substantial investment in the building and refurbishment of the school to address critical renovation needs and ensure that adequate teaching and learning spaces are provided.

“However, this is temporary. Government recognizes that there is an urgent need for a new generation of facilities to cater for 21st century teaching and learning. The Government is currently engaged in discussions with DFID over the construction of a new secondary school campus in the north of the island.

“The construction of the temporary buildings is expected to commence in April 2015. Madam Speaker, we will put our children in better schools and we will put construction crews to work,” the minister stated.

He noted that the overarching Education goal for his government “is to create opportunities for our youth to acquire education and skills that will lead to jobs or self-employment in this technology driven age.

“In an effort to achieve and promote education standards, the Ministry of Education will continue to advance the implementation of its Education Development Plan (EDP) 2009 to 2020, which provides the overall policy and strategic framework for education and training. Madam Speaker, if we are to realize meaningful improvements in the quality and relevance of education, we must improve the curriculum to ensure our children are equipped with the skills and training needed for the 21st century, and further, makes the human resources of Montserrat attractive to investors.

“The Government will continue to support and invest in the Montserrat Community College (MCC) to enhance quality and to offer more diverse pathways for Montserratians to choose to advance themselves.

“Additionally, Madam Speaker, the Government is committed to reviewing the current curriculum at MSS to incorporate skills based learning which would align with the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) framework.

“In the near future we shall be engaging our educators, teachers, students, parents and the general public to discuss specific proposals for upgrading education in Montserrat. Discussions are also being held with BNTF towards developing a program to teach crop production at MSS, since the youth are the next generation of farmers and producers.

“Madam Speaker, the Government also seeks to empower more young people to acquire key skills and competencies that enable them to participate in economic activity through employment or entrepreneurship; in this way they will become responsible and productive citizens of Montserrat. The recent series of workshops facilitated by CARICOM’s Creativity for Employment and Business Opportunity (CEBO) unit was the start of a series of initiatives designed to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship,” the speech read.