INDEPENDENT MP Lawrence Llamas has delivered a stinging rebuke to the Government in what he describes as their “firefighting” approach to problems at St Martin’s School.
Mr Llamas (above) claimed students are being taught in “deplorable conditions” while multi million pound projects are prioritised over St Martin’s a position he describes as “indefensible and shameless”.
The MP claimed that children are being taught in portacabins at the school entrance and accuses the Government of a lack of planning and prioritisation for the school since they were elected in 2011.
Mr Llamas said that there has been a rise in student numbers of over 30 per cent since 2012 and that the responsibility for the current crisis is firmly at the door of No6.
“The Government can argue that they have been in consultation since they were elected in 2015, but it’s simply not good enough, especially from a Government who has prioritised many multi-million pound projects such as No.6 costing £6.5million and the Small Boats Marina costing £25million.
“Delivering a new school should have been a priority.”
He added: “Instead, these children will have to be taught in the deplorable surroundings of porta-cabins placed on a small car park.”
“It is in my view, and the view of many others indefensible and shameful.”
“St Martin’s school is also in need of a new bus, the Government knows this and committed itself to providing it in last year’s Budget.”
“Nevertheless, a year on and there is still no bus and no mention of when this bus will be delivered.”
The Government hit back, saying Mr Llamas is deliberately “trying to use the children of St Martin’s School” to sow worry and concern among parents and that it remains committed to providing a new school as there is a lack of space to expand the school at its current site.
They said the need for additional classrooms could not wait until the relocation of the school and that the additional temporary classrooms were built in consultation with the Head Teacher of St Martin’s and the Department of Education.
Minister for Education Dr John Cortes said: “Education in Gibraltar is about to experience nothing short of a revolution. Over and above improved facilities, the plans will provide amazing educational opportunities for the children in the future at St Martin’s.”