The newly-reconstructed Enid Scatliffe Pre-Primary School, which was funded by the Social Security Board (SSB), was today, February 20, formally reopened with the keys to the building being handed over to the Principal, Mrs. Valerie Charles-Welsh.
At the opening ceremony, Chief Education Officer (CEO), Mrs. Connie George reflected on the kind gesture of donations given to the school following the destruction by the disasters of 2017.
“We came to a place where we lost a lot. Since that time, in the Ministry of Education, I would have to say we have seen the extended hand of the community, we have seen the extended hand of those in the region and internationally at the same time reaching out to us,” she stated.
She explained, “We were the recipients of quite a number of things for students and also in terms of our rebuilding of the infrastructure and today marks the fourth ceremony of this nature that we’re having as we get started with the Enid Scatliffe Pre-Primary School.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Education, Hon. Myron Walwyn highlighted that the rebuilding of the school is proof of the effectiveness of public-private partnerships.
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
“Immediately after the disasters, we assessed all school buildings and classified them as usable or unusable. Using that information, we were able to make several appeals from the business community, private donors and other organisations,” he stated.
According to Minister Walwyn, “The Social Security Board has been partnering with the Enid Scatliffe Pre-Primary School over the years to offer help. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Board for stepping in and taking on the entire project to rebuild the school.”
Added to that, he noted, “Several recommendations for adjustments were given and although they came with an increase in the final cost, the Social Security Board made the decision to include all the operations.“
The new facility features a covered walkway and easy access to classrooms.
Additionally, the teacher’s staffroom has been relocated to the front of the building while the Principal’s office was also moved to the front of the school.
The previous wooden structure that housed two classrooms was transformed to a concrete structure with a flat concrete roof to allow for the addition of extra floors in the future.
Chairman of the Social Security Board, Mr. Ian Smith, who is a product of the school, reflected on the events that led to the Board taking on the project.
“In October 2017, shortly after the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria, members of the Social Security Board met with the Ministry of Education to discuss how we could assist with the rebuilding of the Enid Scatliffe Pre-Primary School which is our sponsored school,” he recalled.
“After months of discussion and the Ministry finalising the design, the Board’s Investment Committee made a strategic decision to sponsor the demolition and rebuilding of this school in its entirety as well as manage the project from start to finish,” the Chairman continued.
Speaking to the reason behind their adoption of the project, he said, “What is growth if it is not transmitted into the lives of the people? In addition to providing the appropriate Social Security benefits to our contributors and their families…the Social Security Board must ensure that it contributes socially to maintain a level of social protection to all residents of the British Virgin Islands.”
He noted that the school plays an important role in the development of the students and the territory as a whole.