By Dana Niland
The Caribbean Development Bank is funding a major new project that will expand or rehabilitate six schools across Grenada.
The Grenada Education Enhancement Project launched last week in St George’s.
“If we truly believe that every child deserves that kind of opportunity, and that every society deserves to have students who can access those kinds of opportunities, then our collective effort becomes extremely clear,” said Grenada Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
“Our work is to make sure that opportunity is not just a possibility, but a promise. Opportunity is a right that inspires educators to truly devote their lives to empowering our children. It is a right that encourages parents to expect their child will graduate from secondary school and college and succeed in life, even if the parents never had that chance themselves. A Government’s work is not done until we have lived up to that promise,” he said.
The project will entail improvements on the J.W. Fletcher Catholic Secondary School; Grenada Seventh Day Adventist Comprehensive; Bishop’s College in Carriacou; Presentation Brothers’ College; St. Joseph’s Convent, St. George’s; and St. Joseph’s Convent in Grenville.
The expansion and rehabilitation work is part of Phase One of the GEEP for which the CDB has approved a loan of $15 million and a grant of $533,000.
“The implementation of the project will allow our Ministry to be better positioned to serve its stakeholders at all levels, and to take on a professional approach towards the conduct of the business of education,” said Anthony Boatswain, Grenada’s Minister of Education and Human Resource Development. “The country on a whole will benefit by way of improving the availability and relevant professional skills. It is therefore my expectation that the beneficiaries of this timely investment, will seize the opportunity to make maximum use of the opportunities afforded.”
Part of the project aims to enhance the quality, relevance and effectiveness of instruction and includes a component for training and professional development for approximately 1,700 teachers are principals.
“The experience of many countries has amply demonstrated the power of human capital development to expanding economic opportunities and reducing poverty,” said Patricia McKenzie, Vice President of Operations at CDB.
“Likewise in Grenada, education attainment is strongly correlated with economic gains and lower poverty rates. Consequently, the government of Grenada has been investing approximately 5.2 percent of GDP annually on education, spending almost $38 million, in 2015, higher than any other sector and among the highest in the OECS,” she said. “As a consequence of the significant investment you have made in education, Grenada has made tremendous progress in reaching several measurable targets for basic education – achieving universal secondary education in 2012, reaching the Caribbean-specific Millennium Development Goals in 2015 and virtually eliminating enrollment disparities between males and females, you have demonstrated leadership in this area.”
Construction on the project is expected to begin by 2017.