Minister Jones: Safety the 'primary concern' when closing schools
Minister of Education Ronald Jones.
Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones, has responded to complaints of 'late notice' given for school closure.
This comes as the island has been feeling the effects of Hurricane Maria since Sunday, resulting in the closure of schools on Monday and today.
Many persons across Barbados have taken to call-in programmes, online news agencies and social media to express their concern about the short notice indicating that schools were closed on both days - in a 5:00 a.m. update on Monday and around 6:00 am today. Minister Jones responded directly to one woman who tagged him directly in her query on Facebook:
"Dear Ronald Jones, many school children have to leave home as early as 6am to get to school.
"You really need to announce public school closures earlier," she asserted.
In his response, Jones emphasised that the safety of children is always the main concern:
"Sorry I am not there. But the decision is always informed by communications from the MET office. We will not always get it right or wrong for that matter. The children's safety is always our primary concern. In the instance of the prevailing conditions, it is best to err on the side of caution."
His response echoed the explanation given by Chief Education Officer Karen Best this morning, when she stressed that the Ministry of Education makes their decision based on advice from the Barbados Meteorological Services.