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Students return to school Monday in Dominica

Friday, October 13, 2017
Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, centre, with Mikey Arison and Michelle Page of Carnival Cruise Lines following a meeting on Wednesday.

Dominica's government will be waiving the requirement for students to attend in uniforms when schools on the island reopen on Monday.

In addition, assistance will be provided to replace text books destroyed in Hurricane Maria.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, speaking on his return from a trip to Washington yesterday, said the list of schools to be reopened will be published by the island’s Ministry of Education.

In the first few days, teachers will be meeting with students and their parents to get an idea of how many text books were completely destroyed so that the Ministry can determine the number of textbooks to be purchased. He assured that the government will underwrite the cost of the books given to students.

While in Washington, Skerrit met with officials from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), State Department, World Bank, IMF and the Clinton Foundation on a climate initiative. He said full details of the trip will be revealed in his address to the nation tonight.

Skerrit said he was very satisfied with the visit which had yielded a number of positives for the island. He said the attention the “World Bank team, from the president down to the lowest rank officer, has shown for Dominica has been overwhelming and touching.”

On the meeting with the IMF, he said, there were discussions on certain matters but gave no details.

“I am comforted by the fact that there are many people out there who have our back and committed to assist us not only now but in the long term,” he said

He said a US company offered three 3-megawatt solar generators to assist with the electricity supply and a benefactor has offered to assist with building two schools and 100 homes.

Almost a month after Hurricane Maria, many Dominicans are still living in shelters. Skerrit said his government is looking at a strategy for building temporary housing with adequate sanitary and kitchen facilities. He also announced plans for a national consultation to come up with national strategy for resuscitation of the agricultural sector.

Skerrit said the government had identified a source of funding and when he addresses the nation he will announce areas where direct support will be given to farmers.