St. Vincent and the Grenadines has offered to accommodate students from the British Virgins Islands (BVI), where schools are not expected to reopen soon following the widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Irma when it slammed into the British Overseas territory last week.
Minister of Economic Planning, Camillo Gonsalves, who was on an official visit to the BVI earlier this week, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that his country has some experience assisting students from storm-ravaged CARICOM nations.
Minister Gonsalves pointed out that in 2004, after Hurricane Ivan, Kingstown offered classroom spaces to Grenadian students who were preparing to write primary, and secondary school exit examination as well as those pursuing advanced level qualification.
He said his government has made a similar offer of support to the BVI.
During his visit Minister Gonsalves met with Premier Dr. D. Orlando Smith, who informed them that school life is going to be significantly disrupted in the short-term in the BVI.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves in addressing a hurricane Irma relief benefit concert at Heritage Square in Kingstown last evening said that it would be appreciated if the students coming would have a connection with family or friends. But he added that the students will be accepted and accommodated despite their nationality.
“We have made the offer to Tortola, to the British Virgin Islands and to Anguilla which have similar systems of examinations like we do and education. We have indicated that first of all we would like to take students who are writing their CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) and their CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination) examinations, and we would want those who are coming to have connections with families or friends, but we will facilitate with the space and other supports. I am sure that other countries in the Windward Islands will make a similar gesture.”
“We are not interested only in students who have Vincentian parentage but also all students of whatever nationality in these countries because we have the space to accommodate the students which I’m talking about,” the Prime Minister said.