$1.75 Billion for North Western Jamaica Schools Project

The North Western Jamaica Schools Project has been allocated $1.75 billion in the 2007/08 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House. This provision is to service the deferred financing facility, which falls due in the current fiscal period, and which was used to finance the construction of secondary schools in the Northwestern region of the island. The objective of this project is to improve the quality of educational facilities at schools in Westmoreland, Hanover, Trelawny, and St. James.
Meanwhile, a sum of $19.3 million has been set aside to facilitate the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Rationalisation Programme in schools. This is a joint project of the Ministry of Education and Youth, and the HEART Trust/NTA. The objective of this project is to expand the technical/vocational programme in the education sector. This will be made possible by upgrading facilities and providing equipment to selected school laboratories, on a phased basis. In addition, schools for the mentally challenged will benefit from a special maintenance grant of $1.4 million.
Under the Teachers Education and Training programme, the Distance Education Project will receive $63.7 million. This project provides scholarships for selected teachers to read for the Bachelor in Education at the University of the West Indies, Mona.
The budget also includes an amount to train and certify principals in School Management and Leadership, also through distance education.

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