President Daniel Gibbs and Vice-President Annick Pétrus, in charge of Education, received the representatives of the SNUIPT-FSU teaching unions on Thursday, March 22 at the Hôtel de la Collectivité, following the national strike movement relayed in St-Martin.
This constructive exchange with teachers' representatives made it possible to take stock of the situation of educational establishments, 6 months after Irma. President Gibbs made a point of recalling the urgency of the situation facing the community, with 95% of public buildings damaged by the hurricane (including three establishments to be rebuilt and 18 to be rehabilitated) and resources limited financial resources to carry out these operations.
The schools having paid a heavy price, the President indicated that he had made the reconstruction of educational establishments and sports infrastructures his priority of the year 2018. Mrs. Pétrus recalled for her part that since IRMA, the teams of the COM have worked tirelessly to restore the schools to accommodate students and to eliminate hourly rotations in the majority of schools. A work schedule has been set by the community in order to renovate all of the establishments before the start of the new school year in September. The framework markets have been awarded, work will begin during the Easter holidays and will be completed in August. The Collectivity will act at best with the financial means it has. Meetings are scheduled with all schools to maintain the dialogue.
On the question of hourly rotations in the 1st degree, still effective in the schools of Grand Case and Sandy Ground, the elected officials indicated having met the parents of pupils and the directors of establishments in the presence of representatives of the rectorat and the education, to find suitable solutions. Rotations will be abolished in Grand Case from the start of the Easter holidays, they will be maintained until the end of June in the schools of Sandy Ground with the agreement of the parents.
The union representatives assured the president of their support, their objective being ultimately the same: an optimal return to school in September with student success at the end.
The President, who is involved in partnership work, has also undertaken to keep the union representatives regularly informed of the progress of work in the schools to encourage permanent dialogue until the start of the new school year in September.
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