JIS News

The Aenon Town All-age School in North Clarendon has been expanded at a cost of $10.2 million, by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).
At a ceremony held on March 10, the new facilities comprising four additional classrooms, a bathroom block, staff room, sick bay and a small storeroom, were officially handed over to the school’s administration.
In his address, Omar Sweeney, Operations Manager at JSIF said that the organization was pleased to invest in the school, to alleviate overcrowding.
He pointed out that the original structure was built to accommodate 250 students, and with the expansion, some 450 students were now enrolled at the institution.
Mr. Sweeney pointed out that $3.2 billion had been approved by his organization since its inception in 1996 to carry out infrastructural development. “To date, the Jamaica Social Investment Fund has completed 504 of the 753 projects approved by the Board, representing an investment of over $3.2 billion. These projects have been in the areas of construction, expansion and rehabilitation of basic schools, rural feeder roads, community water supply systems and multi-purpose community facilities islandwide,” he said.
He also noted that since 2002, the JSIF had spent approximately $471.4 million on the education sector, adding that JSIF’s expenditure for the education sector for the 2005/06 budget year would increase from $239 million (2004/05) to $401 million.
Mr. Sweeney pointed out that of the $401 million, $180 million has been earmarked for schools that were damaged by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004.
He pointed out that in Clarendon alone, 16 school projects, which did not include those schools benefiting under the Hurricane Ivan reconstruction programme, had been completed at a cost of $71.9 million.
Mr. Sweeney noted that the overall investment in the parish was $209 million, reflecting a total of 49 projects.