Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Members of the St. Kitts and Nevis Youth Parliament Association (SKNYPA) were given a chance to sit in the seats of official government ministers to give a youth perspective on pertinent government matters.
One issue that was addressed during the statement section of the SKNYPA mock session was the progress the Government of National Unity has made in ensuring that the students and teachers of the Basseterre High School (BHS) are placed, though temporarily, in a safe environment conducive to learning in the next school term, January 2016.
Young Parliamentarian, representing the Ministry of Education, Tasanna Kelly, echoed the sentiments of the elected minister, Honourable Shawn Richards, that the temporary classrooms are admittedly "not an ideal situation but is a short term alternative put in place of the shift system which was a system that presented numerous challenges."
"Mr. Speaker, in the meantime work is presently progressing on the construction of 18 classrooms to house the Basseterre High School students at a temporary site at Taylor's Range," said Kelly. "In addition, a structure is also being built for the administrative staff at the site."
She stated that the temporary structures will be fitted with benches, ceiling fans, air conditioners, fire extinguishers and other features that will secure the comfort of both student and teacher.
The junior minister encouraged youth to pay close attention to the affairs of the government. In addition, the Government's promise of building a brand new Basseterre High School was also brought to the table.
Kelly informed that her ministry has been speaking to various stakeholders and several funding agencies to bring their plans to fruition. She mentioned that the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has made a declaration to assist with funding of the design. She also noted that her ministry is looking over a number of site proposals.
"Once the site would have been selected, we will then work on the design since it is influenced by the layout of the land chosen. Needless to say, we will continue to consult with the parents, teachers and students, and all stakeholders will be kept abreast of plans going forward."
The young minister took the opportunity to thank parties involved, including the public and private sector to ensure that these plans are put in place.