Member of Parliament (MP) for Castries North Stephenson King said he is prepared to re-allocate funding from the Taiwanese Grant to all of the schools within his constituency.
King said these funding will be used towards protecting those schools that were recently robbed, and ensure that the perpetrators of these crime don’t get the opportunity to destroy school property.
“I believe that every school should have a secured zone, a section of the school property that is secured at the highest level with the best and strongest doors you can find. A full security system,” he opined.
The Castries North MP said, that special area, should have cameras and an alarm system, which will be networked into a monitoring station or command centre, enabling security personnel to see what is happening at the secure location within each school on the island.
He said the secure location should be used mainly to store valuable equipment and other items belonging to the school.
But apart from that King said there is need to provide proper fencing for every school, which will make it more difficult for bandits to enter these compounds.
“Our criminals are becoming very sophisticated. They are implementing and introducing new techniques and measures in their operations and we have heard of those incidents,” he explained.
The Castries North MP plans to visit several schools within his constituency on Thursday, which includes, the St. Mary’s College, Castries Comprehensive Secondary, Carmen Rene Memorial, Vide Bouteille Primary and Secondary Schools, and the Morne Du Don Combined School.
“The intention of the visit is to have a even greater appreciation of the challenges that the schools have within my constituency and to discuss ways in which we can improve on security.”
Absence of national pride
Meanwhile, the former prime minister condemned the recent burglary that took place at St. Mary’s College, saying: “There is an absence of national pride and patriotism for anyone to undertake such an an insensitive and barbaric act, on education in general, and what I consider the resources of the state.”
King said he would like to see the full force of the law applied in this case and the perpetrators brought to justice.
“Anyone who is truly a Saint Lucian understands the contribution that the St. Mary’s College has made to education in this country and the development of this country, would not have thought of such an act.”
The Castries North MP described the attack on students at the college as a “war of terror on our children,” explaining that it should never be allowed to happen again.
King, who is also minister for infrastructure, said that his ministry is looking at secured plans for all schools, but said that the government would first have to meet, to determine how they go about this implementing this plan.
“We don’t have the resources to repair schools to the standard that is required, but I believe the time has come for us to make a serious investment in upgrading the schools, protecting the schools and protecting the children.”
The minister is calling on all Saint Lucians to condemn the recent break-ins at schools.