The government’s response to the GSD’s raising of concerns with regard to the news that St Martin’s school is full to capacity is nothing other than futile party political bluster. They delve into the petty party politics which they themselves say we should not be descending to and which we would agree is the way forward.
Does the government not see the basic point that the school has been to full capacity from inception? Do they not think they should be adopting a more humble and apologetic approach, accept political responsibility for this mistake and explain what it is precisely they intend to do to address this issue? The ability to add a floor cannot be the answer, at least not one that can be conveniently done quickly and with little disruption.
“The government needs to get real and respond more seriously and maturely to what is a growing and pressing need.” Said Damon Bossino
St Martin’s School – More Planning Needed for Special Needs
The report in today’s Gibraltar Chronicle regarding the lack of capacity at St Martin’s school comes as no surprise to the GSD. The Opposition has, from very early on, been advised that the school would not be able to properly cater for the number of children in need of its facilities. The GSD hears of reports of rooms which were not built as classrooms being adapted for that purpose – a sure sign of resources already being stretched.
It is inexplicable to the GSD how the government, who over the last 11 years has been able to inform itself of likely needs in this area, could have had such a lack of foresight in building a school which is not catering for the growing number of pupils attending it.
These dire and unwelcome state of affairs could have been avoided and certainly ameliorated with proper and more adequate planning. After so many years of having to rely on inadequate add-ons in the form of portacabins to act as class-rooms in the old school, it is incredible that similar capacity issues are already being faced after the investment that has been made in building the new school. This was an opportunity to provide educational resources for a generation and not to go back to the drawing board after such a short period of time. There is a clear political responsibility here.
GSD MP, Damon Bossino said “Gibraltar needs to think less about electoral cycles and focus more on sophisticated planning and thinking so that tax-payers’ money is used appropriately to properly cater for much needed services. We also need to have a wider debate on what the effect of the growing intake of St Martin’s school children will mean for the future of other services such as at St Bernadette’s, Dr Giraldi, domiciliary care, supported employment etc., when these children reach adulthood.”