The Dominica State College (DSC) administration’s decision to postpone in-person learning while repairs were being undertaken to the buildings damaged by Hurricane Maria has come under attack by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
When the government stated in March 2022 that full-time face-to-face learning would resume as a result of the reduced cases of COVID-19, the tertiary institution decided to move forward with “remote learning” noting that it was necessary to ensure the safety of staff and students and the need to not disrupt the learning environment.
In response to a query from the media regarding the DSC’s nearly one-year-old decision, Skerrit said, “personally, I do not agree with the State College for not commencing classes in January. They could have done so online and they could have done a better way of facilitating classes.”
“I think they took a lazy person’s approach to this,” he added. “I don’t accept this at all, I don’t agree with them, and as a former lecturer of the state college I think they could have done much better to facilitate tuition at the college.
The prime minister continued by asking, “If you decide not to have classes, then why are you taking a salary then?” before emphasizing that such methods need to be modified in the future.
While the DSC President Donald Peters could not be reached for comment at the time of publication, the institutions did issue a statement telling the public that they were ready for the full restoration of face-to-face instruction beginning on February 27, 2023.
“Beginning today, Monday, February 27, 2023, we will start welcoming students back on Campus. Freshers /Freshmen Day which is targeted at our January applicants will be on Tuesday, February 28. On Wednesday, March 1, we will welcome back to campus our returning students for classes based on their class schedules,” said Monelle Alexis.
Public Relations and Student Recruitment Officer of the Dominica State College. Alexis concluded by thanking students from the Carpentry and Construction, Building and Civil Engineering, and Architectural Technology programmes for aiding the maintenance department’s repair of more than 500 pieces of furniture intended to serve the needs of staff and students, as well as other students and stakeholders for their patience and understanding during this period.
The DSC, in a statement earlier this month, mentioned that contractors were making repairs to its lower campus and that on-site instruction would resume once this was finished.
During a two-day protest in May 2021, faculty and staff at the DSC voiced their displeasure with the facility’s deteriorating circumstances, among other issues.
General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas Letang who at the time provided Dominica News Online, (DNO) with an update said that an assessment would have been carried out by the Public Works Division and that minor repairs would be undertaken whilst the major renovations will be carried out at a later date.