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Displaced Children To Go To New Providence Schools

The scene at Odyssey Aviation on Monday. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

The scene at Odyssey Aviation on Monday. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

By MORGAN ADDERLEY

Tribune Staff Reporter

madderley@tribunemedia.net

ALL children who have displaced by Hurricane Dorian and are currently in New Providence will be placed in new schools by the Ministry of Education, National Emergency Management Agency spokesperson Carl Smith confirmed yesterday.

Mr Smith, during a NEMA press conference, said a registration exercise will be held at the National Stadium tomorrow for all students, teachers, school administrators and other employees who have been evacuated to New Providence.

Transportation will be provided from the shelters to the stadium.

Also present at yesterday’s press conference were representatives from seven non-governmental organisations which are assisting in relief efforts. Each representative outlined their group’s ways of contributing to the rehabilitation of Abaco and Grand Bahama in the wake of the havoc Hurricane Dorian, a catastrophic Category 5 storm, wrought across those islands earlier this month.

Mr Smith also noted NEMA is “closely monitoring” the weather, as a system near Abaco and Grand Bahama may cause some rain and thunderstorms in the area today and later this week. He added NEMA coordinators on the ground are also aware and the Department of Meteorology will be issuing its usual weather updates.

Officials could not provide a number for the total number of persons still missing from the affected islands in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.

However, Mr Smith said there are currently 2,043 people registered in New Providence shelters.

Regarding education for the children as well as registration for school employees, he said: “Parents will be relieved to know that all children displaced by Hurricane Dorian who are now in New Providence will be placed in new schools by the Ministry of Education.

“We are committed to minimising the disruption to their academic studies and giving them back a sense of normalcy,” he continued. “On Thursday of this week, there will be a registration exercise at the National Stadium.

“This includes all students, teachers, janitors, school administrators and other employees who have evacuated to New Providence. Students and employees will be reassigned to new schools in New Providence.”

He added assistance will be provided for uniforms, school supplies and transportation.

“UNICEF, the (United Nations) agency responsible for children and education is on the ground and meeting with the Ministry of Education today to offer further support,” he added.

“Details on the logistics of transportation and other arrangements will be provided by the Ministry of Education. NEMA will also share this information.

“We will also ensure students who remain in Grand Bahama and Abaco will have access to education. We will keep you updated on these developments.”

NGOs present at yesterday’s press conference included HeadKnowles, Hands for Hunger, Rotary Bahamas, and the One Eleuthera Foundation.

During his remarks, Bahamas Gaming Operators Association (BGOA) President Gershon Major said the BGOA has built over 15,000 square feet of air-conditioned temporary tent housing to accommodate over 800 people who have been displaced by the hurricane.

“The tent city, which we have built, is an extension of the NEMA approved shelter at the Sir Kendal GL Isaacs gymnasium,” Mr Major said. “We have fitted out the spaces with

lighting, carpeting and flat screen televisions, operating on a 24hr stand-by generator, along with portable bathroom facilities.

“We have built an outdoor kitchen at the shelter to allow for increase efficiency in the food preparation and distribution to those persons who will be temporarily residing there. We are also in the process of building additional showers and washing facilities, to allow for greater hygienic care. We have installed additional security fencing to ensure the safety of the residents and to more effectively control access, as may be required by approved personnel,” Mr Major said.

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