St Kitts and Nevis: A massive fire engulfed the main compound of the Joshua Obadiah Williams Primary School in the village of Molineux in St Kitts and Nevis on Saturday, March 19, 2022. Molineux village is within the constituency of Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris.
The authorities across the Primary School in Molineux have called the officers St Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services (SKNFRS) to extinguish the ravaged fire at around 10:00 pm.
Moreover, the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) officers were also present at the spot to support other fire extinguishers.
As per the reports, the reason for the ravaged fire jas not yet been cleared, and an investigation is underway to determine its cause.
After witnessing a tragic incident, residents from the nearby hoses left their residence. The Molineux institution has educated thousands from the village and surrounding communities for several decades.
Further, Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris and Acting Minister of Education Attorney General Vincent Byron were also present at the spot, along with the principal of the school, Suzette Cannonier.
While expressing his deep concern, Prime Minister Timothy Harris said, “Tragic to see the devastation caused by the fire at the Joshua Obadiah Williams Primary School in Molyneux”.
Further, Acting Minister of Education Byron also presents concern over the incident. He noted, “The incident is quite tragic for the community, but every measure will be taken to find out the cause of the fire. The government’s main concern at this time is with the students, parents, and staff of the Joshua Obadiah Williams Primary School. We are trying to develop a contingency plan for the immediate continuation of the children’s Education, whose Education has already taken a serious blow from the COVID-19 pandemic”.
After the fire incident reported in the school, the Acting Minister of Education met with other education officials to address the immediate concerns of the continuation of Education for students of the Joshua Obadiah Williams Primary School.
The meeting was held at the library room of the school in Molineux on Saturday, March 19, 2022. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, William Vincent Hodge; Acting Chief Education Officer, Francia Morris; Principal of Joshua Obadiah Williams School, Suzette Cannonier; Dale Phipps, President of the St. Kitts Teachers Union and Principal of the Edgar T. Morris Primary School in Tabernacle and Director-General of St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service, Leroy Williams were also present at the meeting.
The main agenda of the meeting was to discuss the strategic plants to provide housing and psychological support for the 106 students along with teachers in the aftermath of the tragic destruction of a major part of the school.
The Ministry of Education informed that the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Osbert Petty and Inspector Isles-Joseph, had accepted the proposal of the continuation of the classes at the Explorers Youth Clubs Headquarters in Phillips Village.
They further informed that on Monday, March 21, 2022, the students and staff would be reported at the Explorers Youth Clubs Headquarters for orientation and psychosocial support, and further instruction would resume later in the week.
On Sunday, March 20, 2022, the parents and teachers association (PTA) meeting will be held at the Explorers Youth Clubs Headquarters at 5:00 pm, and the Ministry will also engage staff by Microsoft Teams prior to the PTA meeting.
Outlining the benefits of the school, Permanent Secretary Hodge emphasized,” The Joshua Obadiah Williams Primary School has been known one of our best schools and the building was very well maintained and clean. The lawns are always manicured and well kept, so it is quite painful for us. We want to express our support for principal Cannonier and her staff. The most prior tasks of Education is to ensure teaching and learning continue, and so that will continue in the weeks ahead”.
Byron also stated that education facilities would be resumed again as the government is making plans to bring back all these facilities as soon as possible with the engagement of the Public Works Department.
Director of the Forensic Department of the Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force, Latoya Lake-Marshall and her staff have provided him with the entire information about the ongoing investigation into the school fire.
Minister Byron and the education officials also visited the Explorers Youth Clubs Headquarters.