Education Minister, Petter Saint Jean has promised that a brand new $6.8-million Primary School in Newtown will be completed ahead of the new academic year which begins in September.
On Monday, March 30 2015, the entire cabinet of ministers along with their permanent secretaries, members of the Chinese diplomatic corps and the media got a tour of the facility presently under construction.
“The Newtown Primary school is well on its way to completion,” Education Minister Petter Saint Jean said during the visit. “We anticipate that come the end of July the project will be completed.”
He said the project, which is funded by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), represents a “symbolic pillar of the relationship” between Dominica and that Asian country.
Saint Jean stated, in addition, that upon completion the school will have a total of 14 classrooms, labs for science lessons and the performing arts, an auditorium as well as an elevator to cater for students with disabilities.
“This school, upon completion, will be a landmark that will transform the delivery of primary education in the commonwealth of Dominica. I believe that the Newtown Primary speaks to a new day in education especially at the primary level here in Dominica,” he said.
The Education Minister informed that the furniture and equipment has already been ordered.
He is also giving parents the assurance that school fees will not be “prohibitive” for students under the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) reign.
Meantime Acting Prime Minister, Reginald Austrie, thanked the PRC on the behalf of the people of Dominica for the project.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Dominica we really want to extend our thanks to the Government of China for making this very generous gift available to the people of Dominica,” he said. “The Chinese Government continues to invest in the education of our people here in Dominica both on island and off island.”
The contract for the school was signed on October 9, 2013.