Antiguan gov't takes no decision on school re-opening in Barbuda
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – The Antigua and Barbuda government says it has taken no decision “at this time’ regarding the opening of schools on Barbuda that took the full brunt of a dangerous Category 5 Hurricane Irma last week.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who had ordered the evacuation of all the residents on the sister isle, has also described the situation there as “uninhabitable”.
A government statement said that Cabinet met on Saturday to discuss the situation, having received an assessment from the technicians and officials from various state agencies and stakeholders including the National Office of Disaster Services, the Central Board of Health, the Antigua Public Utilities Authority and the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda.
The statement noted that “it was however directed that a plan be formulated immediately to integrate the over five hundred students from Barbuda into the public-school system in Antigua.
“The Cabinet also agreed to commence consultations with the people of Barbuda and stakeholders on Monday 11th September …during which Barbudans will receive an update on the current situation on the island and given the opportunity to be involved in the decision-making process”.
The government said it remains “committed to the education of the children of Barbuda, the rebuilding of the island and most importantly the welfare of all Barbudans and Antiguans”.
Prime Minister Browne has already indicated that it would require “hundreds of millions of dollars” to deal with the reconstruct homes and other infrastructure on Barbuda, where a two-year-old child died during the passage of the storm.