The governments of the People’s Republic of China and Canada have given a commitment to construct a total of nine (9) schools in Dominica.
The schools will replace those either completely destroyed or significantly damaged by Hurricane Maria last September, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit revealed during the 2018/2019 Budget Address at the House of Assembly on Wednesday 25 July 2018.
A Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), coordinated by the World Bank in conjunction with the United Nations, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, and the European Union revealed that the education sector suffered damage and losses worth EC$208 million with sixty-seven (67) education facilities requiring reconstruction.
“The focus will be on the structural aspects of the education system to be resilient to shocks, incorporating climate smart components, disaster resilient technology, and building-back-better principles for reconstruction and rehabilitative works. This will translate into the creation of a better learning environment and more effective service delivery,” Mr. Skerrit said.
The People’s Republic of China, Mr. Skerrit said has pledged approximately US 15 million dollars for the construction of new climate smart schools at Tete Morne, Bellevue Chopin, Soufriere, Castle Bruce, Thibaud, Calibishie Primary Schools and the Goodwill Secondary School.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Government has committed US 5 million dollars towards the Grand Bay and Morne Jaune Primary Schools, and “major rehabilitation works” on the Delices, Salisbury and W. S. Stevens Primary Schools.
“Madam Speaker I wish to express our profound gratitude to the Government and people of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Canada for their generous support towards the rehabilitation and rebuilding of those schools severely impacted by Maria.”
Preparatory work for the implementation of the projects at these schools will begin during this new fiscal year.
Additionally, Mr. Skerrit expressed his gratitude and that of the government and people Dominica for grant funding from the Maria Holder Trust in the amount of 3.08 million dollars, which is expected to be spent on the reconstruction of a number of early childhood facilities.
The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development has been allocated twelve million, eight hundred and six thousand, five hundred and ninety-eight dollars of the capital budget.