College Will Decide On Works

Melissa Edwards, Senior Reporter | 3 Opinions
Published: June 19, 2017 8:03 am AST
Photo Credit: Provided
The powers that be are fully aware of the poor physical condition and poor equipment at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC); however, Education Minister, Hon. Myron Walwyn said that it is for the college's Board of Directors to consider what capital works they will carry out.

In response to questions posed by Opposition Leader, Hon. Andrew Fahie, in the House of Assembly last week, Minister Walwyn said as the member is aware, the college is a statutory body.

He said there was $8,000,000.00 allocated in this year’s budget for the college, and as such, capital works will not be undertaken by the Ministry.

"HLSCC is a separate legal entity with a board that governs its financial affairs. Therefore, capital works for that entity is a matter for them to consider," he said.

The Minister added, "Madame Speaker, I am aware that works need to be done at HLSCC, and I have had discussions about this with the Chairman on the way forward to address these concerns."

Hon. Fahie commented that the BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) is also a statutory body, but the Minister with responsibility for the subject is often asked questions in the House of Assembly about the ports.

"The college is under the Minister (Walwyn)," Hon. Fahie noted.

Minister Walwyn then indicated that discussions surrounding works to address the mold issue and other physical works are being held.

As previously reported, the issue stems from an apparent lack of finances to repair important equipment which are vital to the learning process of students and work of the lecturers.

These concerns range from non-functioning air conditioning (AC) units, damaged dry-erase board, projectors and photocopier not working, no paper, and mold.

“The place is extremely hot and we have been without an AC for months. It is not fair for us to learn in such an environment. It is simply not conducive,” an upset student had lamented.

“It begs the question, what is the priority of this government and Education Minister? From the way things are going, it’s certainly not the education of the young people,” one concerned staff had also stated.

“The college is falling apart, students are sweating like crazy in their classrooms…The facilities are deteriorating…It is now unbearable. Worst I have ever seen,” said a lecturer.

The educator added, “The lowest of the low…But the college is trying its best with the resources available; this is a government financial issue.”

In recent times, the college has been facing some serious financial issues, including its inability to pay staff on time.

Readers' Opinion

Please note that the opinions posted are the opinions of its author and does not reflect the views of the management, staff, parent company or sponsors of Virgin Islands Platinum News.