#Providenciales, March 4, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Students are already benefiting from enhancements to the Turks and Caicos public school system, due to a near €17.52M funding support from the European Union to the education sector which will have its final disbursement in 2020.
The annual increase of new student registrations at public primary schools is now at 10 percent. This demand has, for years, been a national challenge affecting the placement of children within schools.
This was a leading cause for the agreement with the EU to support the Education Sector reform plans of the Turks and Caicos Islands, which is a UK Overseas territory.
While all sums related to this EU assistance are not disbursed at once; the agreed upon benchmarks for receiving these funds are supporting a wide range of important changes which will further improve accessibility, quality, standards, management, facilities, diversity and modernization of education in the TCI.
Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, Head of the EU Delegation with responsibility for the TCI said the main goal of EU support is to contribute to building an education system that will be more efficient and resilient.
“Improving education is top priority for both the Government and the EU. The support from the EU is aligned with the Education Sector Plan and will allow the government to build more public classroom spaces to absorb the anticipated increase in enrolment that is forecasted in the coming years. It will also contribute to building disaster resilience,” said Ambassador Wasilewska, who is based in Kingston, Jamaica.
The first Strategic Imperative of the Education Sector Plan aims to provide equitable access to quality learning opportunities by improving access to high quality instruction, for all learners including Special Needs students. The fulfillment of this goal will also foster safer school environments with more resilient infrastructure and planning.
“We made a promise to our teachers, students and the parents that we will provide safe and healthy school environments for our students and we intend to keep it,” said Hon Karen Malcolm, Minister of Education, Youth, Culture and Library Services.
EU funded construction in the public education sector across the country will add 27 new classrooms at a new primary school now under construction in Providenciales; will support the upgrade of specialist laboratories, facilitate the addition of early childhood centers at three public primary schools and add blocks of classrooms in North Caicos and South Caicos high schools. The Ministry of Education last week announced that derelict containers, once used as classroom spaces will also be removed to ensure schools meet regional and international standards.
The EU is working with the Turks and Caicos Islands’ Ministry of Education, Youth, Culture and Library Services to ensure ‘education for all, by all’ as work towards the building of sufficient spaces in first class educational institutions, is vigorously moving forward.
“Improving the Education System in the TCI…..Together we can do it”