3 Per Cent of Island’s Schools Remain Closed


The Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture has reported that only about 3 per cent of the island’s approximately 1,000 public schools still remain closed, with the other 97 per cent operating at some level.
Dorrett Campbell, Communications Director in the Ministry, told JIS News that the schools, which remained unopened, were either being used as temporary shelters or had sustained extensive damage during the passage of Hurricane Ivan.
In Region 1, comprising Kingston & St. Andrew and parts of St. Thomas, the Westphalia school is being used as a shelter, while the Hall’s Delight Primary and Junior High, Clifton and Crighton All-age are inaccessible by road and the communication lines are still down.
Two schools in Region 2, which comprises Portland, parts of St. Thomas and parts of St. Mary, remain closed. These are the Elliot Primary, which sustained extensive damage to the roof and Dalvey Primary, which is still being used as a shelter.
Miss Campbell said that private organizations had pledged their support for two schools in Region 3, which include institutions in Trelawny, St. Ann and sections of St. Mary. “The Galina Primary School in St. Mary, which has had to remain closed on account of the destruction of its roof, is to receive assistance from a church group from the United States. The re-roofing of the school will be conducted under the guidance of the Regional Building Officer in the coming week,” she informed.
In addition, she said, the Kaiser Bauxite Company has indicated a willingness to assist with the further restoration of the Brown’s Town Infant School, which should be partially repaired in time for the admission of the 5 year- olds on Monday, September 27.
Extensive damage has also lead to the closure of six schools in Region 4, which include institutions in St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland. The affected schools are Upper Rock Spring All-age, Petersville All-age, Hillsbrook All-age, Peters Mountain All-age, Kentucky Primary and Junior High, and Paul Island Primary. Miss Campbell informed that relevant personnel within the Ministry were currently pursuing alternative arrangements to ensure the resumption of classes in these schools.
Meanwhile, in Region 5, which includes Manchester and St. Elizabeth, the Marlie Hill Primary School resumed classes on Wednesday, September 23, while the Rose Hall Primary will reopen on Monday, September 27.The Nazareth All-age is extensively damaged and arrangements are still being worked out for its resumption.
Meanwhile, principals in St. Elizabeth met with the Regional Director on September 22 to determine the status of another 14 schools in the region.
The Portland Cottage Primary in Region 6, which comprises Clarendon and St. Catherine, is still being used as a shelter, however, classes resumed for Grades 5 and 6, while the Bustamante High School and St. Mary’s College are still inoperable.

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