$50M Classroom block to be built at Norman Manley High School

Photo: Donald Delahaye Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites (second right); and Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips (left), symbolically break ground, at Norman Manley High School in St. Andrew, on Friday, November 20, to mark the commencement of construction work to build an additional classroom block, at a cost of $50 million. Also participating in the exercise, from 2nd left, are: Vice Chairman of the School’s Board of Management, Owen Lewin; and Principal, Adaire Powell Brown. The institution is situated in East Central St. Andrew for which Dr. Phillips is the Member of Parliament.

Story Highlights

  • Construction is scheduled to commence in December and be completed by March 2016.
  • Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, and Finance and Planning Minister and East Central St. Andrew Member of Parliament, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, broke ground for the project, during a ceremony at the school, on Friday, November 20.
  • The institution was named in honour of late National Hero and former Premier of Jamaica, the Right Excellent Norman Washington Manley

An additional classroom block is to be built at Norman Manley High School in East Central St. Andrew, at a cost of $50 million.

Construction is scheduled to commence in December and be completed by March 2016. The new block is expected to facilitate the school administration’s removal of the double-shift system from the institution by the end of the 2015/16 academic year, next June.

Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, and Finance and Planning Minister and East Central St. Andrew Member of Parliament, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, broke ground for the project, during a ceremony at the school, on Friday, November 20.

In his remarks, Rev. Thwaites said the new classrooms will enable the provision of additional contact time between the students and teachers.

While acknowledging that the shift system was “well intentioned” by the school administrations implementing it to accommodate as many students as is possible, Rev. Thwaites contended that “it interferes with the teaching and learning process.”

This, he further argued, results in students losing at least one hour of contact time with teachers daily. In this regard, the Minister informed that, since 2011, the system has been removed from more than half of the 107 primary and secondary schools, where it was instituted.

He further advised that it will be removed from another 36, including Norman Manley High, during the current academic year, adding that “the remainder will come thereafter.”

“We are insistent that every high and primary school should have a full day and have the opportunity for students to get home in reasonable time,” the Minister stated.

Rev. Thwaites encouraged the students at Norman Manley High to make the most of the opportunity afforded them to attain a secondary education, and challenged them “not to settle for mediocrity, but…strive for excellence, going forward,”

For his part, Dr. Phillips said the new environment that the additional classrooms will provide, will assist in the delivery of “first rate” education to every enrolled student.

“It has long been my dream for every student attending Norman Manley High School to get the benefit of a full day at school, and that day is finally within view,” he said.

Dr. Phillips said school administrations and teachers should endeavour to, not only provide necessary academic engagements for children, but also identify and develop other skills and talents they display.

Principal, Adaire Powell-Brown, said her students and staff are eagerly anticipating the school’s transition to the single shift system, which she said will provide “more time for Mathematics, more time for English Language, (and) more time for co-curricular activities.” Established in 1969, the Norman Manley High School has been known for its outstanding achievements in academics and sports.

The institution was named in honour of late National Hero and former Premier of Jamaica, the Right Excellent Norman Washington Manley

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