Newtown to get new School
China is to fund and build an EC$6 million primary school in Newtown.
In 14 months New Town will have a new primary school; and that is not a moment too soon.
Struggling under the extremely poor conditions of a dilapidated thirty-year old building, the community has exercised the patience of Job as they waited and waited and waited some more for Government to fulfil its promise of building a school in the community. Sometimes, their patience snapped and they protested by keeping their children home, a decision Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit claimed is always counter-productive.
"The only people who will suffer are your children when you keep your children home," Prime Minister Skerrit told the signing ceremony of a contract to build the new school. "Do not ever keep your children at home."
But on the contrary, the protests by parents and teachers of New Town made a definite impression because, it appears, Prime Minister Skerrit diverted the gift of a school for Thibaud, in his constituency, to Newtown.
"What we are seeing is the result of the generosity of the Prime Minister," said Parliamentary Representative Ambrose George as he described the anxiety, of the community, that grew and grew and was almost unbearable. "Everyone is looking forward to the moving of the first stone."
Whenever that happens, Petter St. Jean, the Minister for Education said the construction of the new school will be "the beginning of a new beginning" for students and teachers and the community.
When completed, the EC $6.37 million primary school will be large enough to hold 300 students and 17 teachers within its three floors. It will also contain a library, 14 classrooms and other rooms including a sick bay and art room. Most significantly, it will be the first primary school in Dominica with elevators.
Like most infrastructural development projects in Dominica over the past five years, the school is being funded and built by the People's Republic of China and, according to the officials, it is a manifestation of the warm relationship between Dominica and China that was established about ten years ago.
"We have seen rapid and sound development in bilateral relations," said Chinese Ambassador Wang Zonglai.
Prime Minister Skerrit added that the benchmark of that relationship has been non-interference in each other's domestic affairs and the adoption of the one-China policy.