Two More Schools Targeted for Biodiversity Programme

Photo: Contributed Personnel from the Institute of Jamaica and Highway 2000 East-West presenting resources to the Freetown Primary School in Clarendon for biodiversity education and garden maintenance.

Story Highlights

  • Two additional schools in the Highway 2000 corridor are being targeted for the Natural History Museum of Jamaica (NHMJ) Biodiversity Awareness programme.
  • As part of efforts to expand the programme, the schools – Moore’s Primary and Roosevelt Primary in Clarendon – will see the installation of school gardens and biodiversity centres next year.
  • The project was first established in 2011 at the Chandlers Pen Primary and Junior High schools in Chateau, Clarendon. It has since been expanded to include Freetown Primary School in Clarendon and Independence City Primary School in Portmore, St. Catherine, where vegetable gardens were installed in November 2016 and January 2017, respectively.

Two additional schools in the Highway 2000 corridor are being targeted for the Natural History Museum of Jamaica (NHMJ) Biodiversity Awareness programme.

The programme is coordinated by the NHMJ, a division of the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), and sponsored by TransJamaican Highway Limited.

As part of efforts to expand the programme, the schools – Moore’s Primary and Roosevelt Primary in Clarendon – will see the installation of school gardens and biodiversity centres next year.

The gardens will be used as tools for biodiversity education, a source of income-generation for the schools as well as a means to offset the cost for providing nutritious meals for the students.

The project was first established in 2011 at the Chandlers Pen Primary and Junior High schools in Chateau, Clarendon. It has since been expanded to include Freetown Primary School in Clarendon and Independence City Primary School in Portmore, St. Catherine, where vegetable gardens were installed in November 2016 and January 2017, respectively.

Additionally, the schools were provided with resource booklets on ‘Vegetable Gardens’ as well as tools for garden maintenance.

Educational Outreach Officer at the Natural History Museum of Jamaica, Eartha Cole, told JIS News that there will be ongoing efforts to expand the programme even further.

Miss Cole said that students and teachers have been willing to work with the programme and have reported the benefits reaped from it.

She also noted that the programme has provided an opportunity for Government agencies to collaborate with the schools.

“We have used it as a collaborative platform for other agencies, such as the National Solid Waste Management Authority, the National Irrigation Commission, Water Resources Authority, and Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA),” she said, adding that the entities have done presentations and mounted displays, “which have also enriched the students”.

The schools had an opportunity to showcase what they learned, as well as produce from their gardens, at a recent biodiversity expo, which was hosted by the NHMJ on June 30 at the Chandlers Pen Primary School.

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