CBHS may open next week

| 16/11/2008

(CNS): The Cayman Brac High School is on target to open towards the end of next week, but a firm decision on the actual date will be taken after the weekend. It is anticipated that some primary provision, possibly initially operating from one site, should come on-line in the week beginning 24 November. Meanwhile, UCCI is aiming to reopen its Brac campus in January.

University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) Brac Campus Director Martin Keeley told CNS that all the computers had been covered during the storm but now needed to be checked out. It was not known if the video conferencing equipment still worked but the server room was OK, he noted.

“The basic idea is to continue where everyone left off, do one week of revision and then just keep going until February, which will take us to the end of the first semester. Then after a short break, we’ll start the second semester mid-February and run through into the summer semester. So we’ll have two semesters instead of three. Too much time has been lost,” he said.

“Students can’t study at home right now because there is no power or internet, Also, adult students are busy working to get the island restored,” Keeley pointed out. PWD staff from Grand Cayman had fixed the roof and cleaned out the building. CUC and CB Power and Light hooked up mains power Tuesday morning and the RCIPS had temporarily moved their headquarters to the building that same day. Keeley said that one advantage in reconnecting the building was that it had originally been renovated as offices so each room had its own metre. So while the Back rooms had not been passed by electricians, the front rooms were ready to go.

According to the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education Services, significant progress has been made towards the re-opening of education services in Cayman Brac, following Hurricane Paloma.

The main focus over the last few days has been the Cayman Brac High School, which has seen most of the debris on the site removed with the assistance of the Public Works Department and the Department of Environment. Local contractors have also been engaged to secure the buildings and preparations are well underway to ensure that the facility is dried and cleaned.

The Ministry’s Facilities Team, along with the Chief Education Officer Shirley Wahler and the Learning Community Leader for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, Tammy Banks-DaCosta, have also been working on Creek, SpotBay and West End Primary Schools.

Commenting on the exceptional work already completed and the challenges that still lay ahead, the Education Minister Alden McLaughlin said in a release, “It is both pleasing and inspiring to see the way in which education has been prioritised in the wake of Hurricane Paloma. I would personally like to thank everybody who has worked so diligently and effectively to re-open schools far more quickly that was originally thought possible and I look forward with great anticipation to the realisation of our collective efforts for the children of Cayman Brac.”
 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    AS A CONCERN PARENT, WHY WAS THE GENERAL PUBLIC IN CAYMAN BRAC NOT INFORMED ABOUT THE DECISION TO ALLOW ALL CREEK AND SPOT BAY PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS TO ATTEND WEST END PRIMARY SCHOOL! WHERE WAS THE MEETING HELD AND WHEN? HERE IS A LIST OF MY CONCERNS, THAT I WANT ANSWERED!

    1. CAN WEPS ACCOMADATE ALL OF THESE ADDITIONAL STUDENTS?
    2. DO THEY HAVE ADEQUATE CLASSROOM SPACE?
    3. IS THERE ADEQUATE SEATING/DESKS?(IN CLASSROOM OR LUNCHROOM)
    4. WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE OTHER TEACHERS FROM CREEK AND SPOTBAY PRIMARY?(HOW WILL THE TEACHING BE HANDLE)?
    5. WILL STUDENTS BE TAUGHT IN PORTABLE CLASSROOMS?
    6. WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE PRINCIPALS FROM CREEK AND SPOTBAY PRIMARY?(WILL THEY RESUME TEACHING ROLES?)
    7. HOW SAFE ARE THE CLASSROOM AT WEPS?
    8. WHERE WILL ALL OF THESE PARENTS VEHICLES PARK? (WEPS PARKING LOT IS VERY SMALL!)
  2. Anonymous says:

    I was wondering why the teachers of year 12 don’t try to schedule some classes somewhere for these children. They have important exams coming up and are missing a lot of classes. Or, maybe they should consider cutting the Christmas holdiday short as well as any other breaks before the May and June exams. I’m so afraid our year 12 children will suffer the most from all this.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is amazing to see the amount of work that has taken place in the aftermath of Hurricane Paloma in Cayman Brac to date.  But there are two areas that truly concern me.

    The first thing that concerns me is that in all the rush to get things up and running, and in getting supplies to Cayman Brac residents, little importance seems to be placed on personal time. A flurry of activity has been initiated to have assessments of all sorts completed to get businesses up and running.  It is admirable to sure; however, barely a week has passed and little importance seems to have been placed on the psychological ramifications of Hurricane Paloma.  Residents have had little/no time to celebrate the fact that they are indeed alive, to reassure themselves that their families are indeed ‘alive and well’, or, to restore some semblance of order to their personal lives.  Further, the people who desperately need the help most are the ones who seem least likely to receive it. 

    The second thing that concerns me is more specific to the re-opening of the schools and other government buildings….  I wonder if any thought has been given to the health implications of unprotected individuals going in to clean up debris and such from these public areas.  Many of these buildings are dated and hail from a time when asbestos was used.  Asbestos is linked to Mesothelioma.  Additionally, mold can form/grow rather quickly given the right conditions.  Mold should not be taken lightly.  It can cause anything from allergies to death. 

    In the frenzy to get things done, things aren’t necessarily always being done RIGHT. Everyone is anxious to get their lives back to normal – no one knows that better than the people who are currently living in Cayman Brac, other Cayman Brackers who may live elsewhere and those with family in Cayman Brac.  But it would seem as though professionals should first assess the buildings, remove any hazardous material before a general clean-up begins. 

    The whole point of the recovery stage is to look out for the welfare of the community as a whole.  Cayman Brackers are emotionally and physically drained.  Give them a chance to rest and recuperate.  Then, strategically bring in other essential businesses.  Individuals who are fatigued and stressed about personal affairs are of little/no use to a business.  People who are sick are of little/no use to a business.