Gadsby-Dolly: $1.8b spent on school repairs since 2021

Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly - Photo by Roger Jacob
Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly - Photo by Roger Jacob

EDUCATION Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said on Thursday that $1.8 billion was spent on school infrastructure since 2021, addressing a briefing at her ministry.

This sum consisted of money spent on comprehensive repairs, emergency repairs, and completion of unfinished schools, she said.

Of the country's 800-plus public and government-assisted schools – 208 ECCE, 476 primary, 134 secondary and 12 special schools – she gave figures showing almost half were over 40 years old.

Those consisted of 53 schools over 100 years old, 195 were 60-99 years, and 125 were 40-59 years, meaning a "significant number" of ageing school stock needing attention.

She said the ministry aimed to deal with repairs as quickly and efficiently as possible, to reduce down time.

The National Maintenance Training and Security Company Ltd (MTS) can do a basic in-house repair at some schools, Gadsby-Dolly said, but otherwise a significant number could only be done by a contractor hired by MTS.

Gadsby-Dolly preferred the Government's comprehensive repair programmes at some schools, rather than any constantly patching.

Most repairs were required for old schools and those now in a serious condition.

"We have issued comprehensive repairs at 27 secondary schools – and I'm speaking from 2021 to present – at a cost of $175 million."

She said Cabinet earlier Thursday approved such repairs on 15 more schools for $236 million, making a total of $411 million for 42 secondary schools.

"Since 2021 we have expended over $600 million in emergency repairs to schools all over the nation. In this fiscal, we are predicting another $300 million to be spent, and this is the minimum figure that will be spent in emergency works at our schools.

"Sewer, plumbing, electrical, falling concrete – these are the kinds of emergencies we see coming through."

Gadsby-Dolly said the sums spent by the Government on comprehensive repairs and emergency repairs since 2021 totalled over $1 billion.

She was also dealing with the completion of unfinished schools.

"Between 2010-2015, there were over 100 contracts signed for school construction."

She said that programme was due to spend $3 billion.

She said a funding source was necessary to complete such a construction programme, but that had not been done by 2015.

"Therefore by 2015 when the contractors were signed, there was no funding to sustain the contracts and that resulted in the contractors making multiple claims.

"The Government has paid out over $400 million in claims, and we have over 80 schools that remained to be finished."

She said the Government had embarked on a phased process to complete the schools.

"Of these schools, we have completed 13, at a cost of $400 million. We are now completing seven, and that is ongoing."

She hoped to open four of those schools by year end.

"So, of the incomplete schools that we've met, we have completed 13, at a cost of $400 million.

"We are completing now another seven at a cost of $400 million.

"We will embark on another phase of school completion and that will be the general cost for which we'll be seeking loan funding."


"Gadsby-Dolly: $1.8b spent on school repairs since 2021"

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