Ministry of Education, Science and Technology District Superintendent, Ivan Butler, provided an update on reopening of schools throughout Grand Bahama in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, during a press briefing at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Command on Monday, September 11, 2017.
Speaking on behalf of District Superintendent for East Grand Bahama Yvonne Ward, Butler, who serves as the District Superintendent for West Grand Bahama, Bimini and the Cays expressed sincere gratitude that Hurricane Irma changed course and the Northern Bahama Islands had not been directly impacted by the well-defined tropical cyclone.
Although homes and businesses had, unfortunately, sustained damages as a result of tornadic activity that occurred on the island, and flooding took place on the island of Bimini due to unusually high tidal surges and swells, both Butler and Ward expect schools to reopen fully this Wednesday, September 13, 2017.
“Definitely it is fair to say that all the schools on Grand Bahama fared fairly well and that no major structural damage had been sustained.
“In light of this fact, we expect schools across Grand Bahama to reopen on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 with the exception of schools in Bimini and East End Primary School, which sustained severe roofing damages.
“All teachers and support staff are asked to report to their respective schools tomorrow to begin the initial clean-up exercise in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
“Again, all administrators, teachers, staff and students are to report for a full school day on Wednesday, September 13 and we would like to make it clear to all parents, should your child’s /children’s uniform have sustained damage or is not ready, students are allowed to come to their respective school in their P.E. Shirts with long jean pants (not cut-out or distressed).
“We do not want any child staying home because their uniforms are not ready or damaged,” said Butler.
Additionally, the District Superintendent urged parents to also allow their children to come to school regardless as to whether or not they have books and materials, which may have sustained damage due to the weather or tornadic activity as a result of Hurricane Irma.
Hopeful that all schools across the length and breadth of Grand Bahama would be up and running before the end of the week, Butler thanked all in advance for their cooperation as well as the numerous stakeholders, who worked tirelessly hand-in-hand at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Command led by Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister Senator J. Kwasi Thompson.
The general public is urged to stay tuned to local news broadcasts on ZNS 8.10 AM and 104.5 FM radio stations as well as ZNS Nightly News beginning at 6:00 p.m. for additional updates and information.