Skelton-Cline‘s comments come in the wake of a sequence of deplorable events which has seen teachers engaging in industrial action centred around continuously deteriorating school infrastructure — including some structures with mould, hazardous wiring, and caving ceilings — and generally poor working conditions, among other things.
Education, especially at public schools, must now be pushed to the front of any budget brought by the government, Skelton-Cline stated on his Honestly Speaking radio show yesterday, November 2.
He argued that addressing the issue is long overdue.
And while making reference to his former days on the hustings for the now governing Virgin Islands Party (VIP), Skelton-Cline said: “I helped to run a campaign where education was the main point. We put a sheet of licks on the then government over this matter of education.“
“I want to say to our government, whatever else we may have had in mind, I want to say to every single ministry — Ministry of Health, Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, all the Ministries — everybody needs to sit down right now and give up some portion of their budget to focus this country on education,” he stated.
He argued that the government ought not to guess whether the necessary funding will be dumped in education but rather it must insist on doing so.
“The monies have to be appropriated, the sacrifices have to be made so that education in a meaningful and a substantive way takes priority in this country once and for all,” he urged.
The political commentator also called for a comprehensive plan surrounding the issue of education.
“We are failing generations of children and therefore mortgaging our future for the deficiencies that have existed in education and it’s not just today, (it has been) over the last 15 or 20 years,“ Skelton-Cline stated.