To fortify the educational infrastructure against the ravages of natural disasters, the Ministry of Public Works has unveiled an ambitious initiative aimed at reconstructing 164 public schools. The initiative, named “Mi Nueva Escuela” (My New School), has been allocated a substantial budget of $16 million, courtesy of funds provided by the World Bank to the Ministry of Education (Mined).
Romeo Rodríguez, the Minister of Public Works, made this significant announcement during a recent interview on radio YSKL’s “Punto de Vista.” He emphasized that the schools identified for intervention had borne the brunt of storms and natural calamities, rendering them in dire need of restoration. Crucially, Rodríguez clarified that these funds were not part of a new loan agreement but were rather allocated from a pre-existing loan, earmarked for the Ministry of Education some time ago.
“We have a loan that was approved for Mined a while back. This loan includes a component from the World Bank, which encompasses resources for climate change resilience and disaster emergencies,” the minister explained.
The investment of $16 million is set to address the pressing issue of compromised school infrastructure due to incessant rains. “The recent rainfall has left several school structures in need of rebuilding. We will be deploying $16 million to reconstruct 164 educational centers that will benefit from these resources. It’s important to note that these funds are part of the World Bank loan and do not signify a new borrowing, but rather an allocation from an existing arrangement,” Rodríguez elaborated.
Additionally, the minister disclosed that preventative measures are also being taken in high-risk areas. One such area of concern is Los Chorros, situated along the Pan-American Highway. Despite previous efforts to implement preventive measures, a rocky mantle with a significant accumulation of water has resulted in recurring landslides. “Yesterday, we removed three trees that were at risk of falling onto the highway. These trees were situated on the upper slopes. Unfortunately, there was also a rockfall incident that caused damage to a vehicle,” Rodríguez revealed.
To further mitigate risks, reversible lanes are being introduced as a preventive measure. While current restrictions will remain in place for the time being, these measures may be adjusted depending on the evolving situation.
The initiative to reconstruct 164 public schools represents a commendable step towards safeguarding educational institutions from the unpredictability of nature. By fortifying these vital centers of learning, the government is not only investing in the future of its youth but also exemplifying its commitment to educational resilience in the face of adversity.