Students study in church

Minister for Education, Rosy Akbar. Picture: FT FILE

STUDENTS of Laucala District School in Dreketi, Qamea are studying in a church.

Confirming this, Education Minister Rosy Akbar said the ministry was grateful to villagers for accommodating teachers from the ministry and students to study in their church.

The school was damaged after a landslide in 2017.

While responding to the 2019/2020 National Budget in Parliament last month, Ms Akbar said students who were affected by tropical cyclones were no longer studying in tents.

Ms Akbar said they were working towards building climate-resilient classrooms.

She had confirmed to Parliament that the ministry has addressed the damage left by Severe TC Winston, Keni, Josie and Gita with 15 schools yet to be completed by 2019.

She said this had been a major undertaking with the construction of 400 buildings and more than 950 buildings being upgraded.

“I did say they’re not studying in tents, they’re studying in a church,” Ms Akbar said.

“The 2019/2020 budget has the allocation for the rebuilding of Laucala District School.

The tender is in the final procurement stages and we are going to build four classrooms, one administrative block, one ECE classroom, one ablution block, two teachers quarters and all these are to commence later this year. There are a lot of schools that had partial damages to its buildings which is also part of next year’s allocation. We have budgetary allocation to complete rehabilitation projects.”

The ministry was allocated a total of $467.7m in the 2019/2020 National Budget.

According to the 2019/2020 National Budget estimates, the ministry’s capital expenditures have decreased after the completion of the vast majority of cyclone-related rehabilitation, with every newly constructed school building having been built to withstand up to Category 4 cyclone winds.

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