PHILIPSBURG–A query about the state and future of now-closed Philipsburg Jubilee Library has been fired off to Education and Youth Minister Wycliffe Smith by National Alliance leader and Member of Parliament (MP) Silveria Jacobs.
The institution was forced to close its doors until further notice on December 10 after the building was deemed unsafe by the Labour and Fire Departments.
Jacobs said in a press statement, after a tour by Library Director Peter Lucas and speaking with several board members, that she is concerned that the library’s closure will hamper access to educational materials and media lab for those most in need, especially children who do not have access to e-learning tools.
She has also called on the public “to rally” around the country’s only public library to help reopen its doors. The community should get more involved, as the library has not received any initial funds from the World Bank and seemingly is not listed as a recipient, said Jacobs. She commended radio station Laser 101 for its radiothon in support of the library.
She said that last year, when she was serving as education and youth minister, government-subsidised institutions were put on the priority list for funds from the World Bank.
The financial woes of another educational institution, University of St. Martin (USM), were also raised by Jacobs after learning about reports of funds running out. This is “quite alarming,” she said, especially considering the financial reporting to government along with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) via which USM recently received NAf. 3 million.
Jacobs questioned whether USM had lived up to the agreements of the MoU with Government Accounting Bureau SOAB; whether management had not been improved.
Looking ahead to the debate on the draft 2019 budget, Jacobs said she is “greatly excited” about it. A key point, she said, is not only that the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT “is saying one thing and the Council of Advice is saying another, but moreover, the government is discussing something completely opposite, all in the same document.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/83669-jacobs-writes-to-smith-about-closed-library