Hurricane Beryl inflicts $800m damage on education sector

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Preliminary estimates indicate that Jamaica’s education sector has suffered close to $800 million in damage due to the passage of Hurricane Beryl.

Minister of Education and Youth, Fayval Williams, said the government is committed to addressing these challenges swiftly and ensuring that educational facilities are safe and functional.

“We are mobilising all the necessary resources to mitigate further damage and safeguard our staff and students,” she said.

The ministry advised that technical officers conducted post-disaster assessments, which found that 100 schools in six of the seven regions sustained damage amounting to close to $800 million.

“The majority of this cost reflects schools in St Ann and Trelawny; other schools in other parishes have been negatively impacted, but due to the communications disruptions and impassable road conditions, the information has not been submitted or verified,” the ministry said in a media release issued on Tuesday (July 9).

The ministry pointed out that the preliminary submission does not account for schools in Region Two, which covers the parishes of St Mary, Portland and St Thomas, because of disruptions in the amenities.  

“It is hoped that by Friday of this week, all the post assessments will be completed so that prioritisation and procurement decisions can be effected,” the ministry stated.

Thirty-five schools in Region Four have been affected, with damage estimated at $246.6 million, while 34 institutions in Region Three sustained damage estimated at $240.8 million.

Approximately $224 million will be required to effect repairs to 17 schools in Region Five and another $55.7 million for eight in Region Seven.

The Ministry estimated damage amounting to $30.1 million for one school in Region Six, and $600,000 for five in Region One.

Permanent Secretary, Dr Kasan Troupe, emphasised the importance of addressing these issues expeditiously.

“The Ministry is working diligently to assess and repair damage to minimise disruption to our educational services. We must act promptly to secure our infrastructure and support our students, teachers and staff during this challenging time,” she said.