Additional Support for Genesis Academy

Photo: Dave Reid Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (second left), raps with Head Girl, Genesis Academy, Ashley Hussey, during a visit to the school in Kingston on Thursday, May 11. The institution is a skills-training centre which caters to students with learning challenges.

Story Highlights

  • Government is to provide additional support for Genesis Academy, a private institution which caters to students with learning challenges.
  • Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, gave the commitment during a visit to the school’s South Camp Road location in Kingston on Thursday, May 11.
  • This undertaking is part of a broader initiative of the Ministry to provide support for privately run special needs schools as it seeks to expand its assistance for this cohort within the education system.

Government is to provide additional support for Genesis Academy, a private institution which caters to students with learning challenges.

Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, gave the commitment during a visit to the school’s South Camp Road location in Kingston on Thursday, May 11.

Mr. Reid said he is pleased with the quality of education being provided for students at the institution, and pledged the Government’s continued support for areas in need.

“I am extremely impressed with the leadership here, with the quality of the facilities, the creativity and ingenuity of the administration. This is, in fact, a first-class facility and it is worthy of Government’s support,” he said, during an interview with JIS News.

The Minister, who informed that a significant number of students at the institution are already benefiting from funding support by the Government, promised an increased subvention to assist with operations.

“I am going to make (an) allocation to assist with feeding and the overall operation of the school,” he said.

“Our Ministry will be working even closer with you to assist you with funding this institution to make sure that it is viable, to make sure it is able to take care of our very precious children,” the Minister added.

This undertaking is part of a broader initiative of the Ministry to provide support for privately run special needs schools as it seeks to expand its assistance for this cohort within the education system.

During last Friday’s sitting of the Senate, Mr. Reid had informed that his Ministry would be examining special private schools to ensure that students are being taught State-recognised curricula.

“We now have to look at these private special schools and make sure that Government works with them with a proper arrangement to provide very structured government support, because it can’t be that the Government is not reaching out, not showing the care and love to the poorest and the most vulnerable in our society,” he said.

In her remarks, Principal, Donna Lowe, said she is pleased to hear of the Government’s plans for children with disabilities, and thanked the Ministry for its continued partnership.

She noted that the school has partnered with the National Youth Service (NYS) on its six-month work experience programme, sharing that “quite a few of our past and current students have been placed in that programme and from that, they have been able to gain employment there”.

The school is also a HEART Trust/NTA-certified centre that exposes students to three vocational skills – data operations, food preparation, and art and craft.

“Quite a few of our students have been able to advance to regular high schools where possible, and transitioning to even HEART level two,” she said.

Vice Principal, Marcia Peak, also informed JIS News that, for the first time, students were exposed to the Ministry of Education’s special-education curriculum last September.

Genesis Academy is a skills-training centre that caters to students with learning challenges. It conducts speech, music and art therapy and operates a life skills curriculum for persons 12 to 25.

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