600 New Spaces by September Under Start-A-School Programme


The Ministry of Education and Youth will be providing 600 new school spaces for the new academic year under its Start-A-School Programme, to accommodate students in Grades 7 and 10.
“These grades were selected to facilitate the students sitting the Grade Six Achievement Test and Grade Nine Achievement Test,” Minister Maxine Henry Wilson said during her contribution to the 2007/08 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, yesterday (June 12).
“The schools will ultimately hold about 1,000 to 1,200 students, but in the first instance, starting this year, we will build a structure that can hold about 300 children and then we will add to the school as we go along, with the hope of completing quite a few of them in the course of this year,” the Minister said.
Under the start-a-school programme the Ministry had identified three sites, namely Sandy Bay and Foga Road in Clarendon, and Dunbeholden in St. Catherine to build these schools. “In terms of Dunbeholden, we had negotiated for the acquisition of lands at Dunbeholden, which are still available to us. The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) has advised us not to construct the school at this time as they have concerns about a particular water aquifer that’s located there and we have complied,” Mrs. Henry Wilson said.
“We have taken steps to identify a new site and I will like to assure everyone that the students who were assigned to this school, have already been assigned to alternative institutions,” she added.
The Minister also noted that the construction of new spaces for Grades 8, 9 and 11 would be completed by September 2008.

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