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Twenty to lose jobs following school closure

Guardian Staff Reporter

Published: May 17, 2013

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Twenty teachers and administrative staff at Faith Temple Christian Academy will be out of a job next month when the school closes down permanently.

The school off Prince Charles Drive will close on June 20 because of a $1.5 million debt, said Faith Temple Executive Chairman Bishop Philemon Wilson.

The high school portion of the school closed last year and more than 17 teachers were let go.

Since then only the nursery and primary grades remained open.

Wilson said Bahamas Faith Temple Ministries invested $1 million into the school, but could no longer afford to keep the school open.

“We are so sorry that we have got to make this decision,” he said.

“All of our teachers that we would have had to terminate, we have committed ourselves to paying their redundancies.

“Our teachers who are presently on staff, we have committed ourselves to paying them until August of this year.”

Wilson said a decline in students also lead to the decision.  The school lost over 200 students in the last three years.  He noted that ongoing road works on Prince Charles Drive presented a significant challenge to parents.

“There was a time when our parents had to go onto Sea Breeze and Fox Hill around the prison to get to school and that was very difficult for them.”

Grade 2 teacher Betsy Cenatus, who has been with the school for 18 years, said the news was a blow.

“I’ve [been] here since K3 and now at Grade 2,” she said.  “But it’s not a good feeling. I’ve put applications out and I’ll see what happens.”

Janet Hanna, administrative assistant at Faith Temple, said the best the school can do now is finish the term strong.

“You’ve heard the bad news, but we have a task to do,” she said.  “The teachers are ready and I know that they are going to do well wherever they go.”

Currently 129 students attend the school.

Wilson noted that after the school closes officials will determine if they will lease the property or sell it.

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