$184 Million Set Aside for Enhancement of Basic Schools Project

The thrust to enable young children to learn and develop to the best of their abilities will continue during the 2007/08 fiscal year, with the aid of $184 million, which has been allocated to the Enhancement of Basic Schools Project.
The sum has been set aside in the Estimates of Expenditure, which was tabled in the House of Representatives yesterday (March 29) by Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. Omar Davies.
Funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and implemented by the Government of Jamaica through the Ministry of Education and Youth, the project will this year complete construction and renovation of package one and two schools; provide three project schools with furniture and equipment; award two fellowships to early childhood officers; complete design specifications and prototype for indoor and outdoor play equipment; complete verification status of 2,300 early childhood institutions; commence level three certification of 680 practitioners; complete registration and legal and regulatory framework consultancies; and begin new learning environment consultancies.
Up to February of this year, the project had made a number of achievements. These include the establishment of a Project Implementation Unit; completion of topographic and measured surveys for sites in packages one and two; collection and analysis of baseline data; and completion of island-wide sensitization workshops on the new learning environment.
In addition, 680 early childhood practitioners completed the National Council for Technical Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) level two instruction, while 80 education officers completed assessors’ training, and architectural drawings for packages one and two were done. Lease documents were prepared for five schools and resource centres in package three. Under construction and renovation activities, the Manchester Resource Centre was completed; the Yallahs Basic School and the St. Thomas Resource Centre were 60 per cent completed; the Hope Village Basic School was 90 per cent completed; and the DRB Grant Practising School was 45 per cent completed.

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