JIS News

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture has reported that it has been successful in avoiding the relocation of students of schools that were severely damaged by Hurricane Ivan a month ago.Communications Director in the Ministry, Dorrett Campbell told JIS News that as at Monday, October 4 all the island’s schools were back in operation.
“We have one exception, however the Sydney Pagon Agricultural High School was only up to Wednesday (October 6) accommodating its final year students. Since then, they have made provisions for the first year students to come in as of Monday,” she said, noting, “on the whole, schools are in operation, but some are really doing so under very severe conditions at this time.”
Ms. Campbell informed that the Ministry had submitted a list of 51 schools considered to be in a critical state, to the Office of National Reconstruction (ONR) for them to be given priority assistance.
“In the meantime, we were given about 20 tents that are being used to house some students and some schools have been given tarpaulins to use as temporary roofs, while others have sped up the process by actually conducting their own re-roofing,” she said.
For example, Ms. Campbell pointed out, the Dunrobin Primary School has had the majority of its roof replaced through assistance from the Parent Teachers’ Association and community members.
She said the timeline for repairs to schools was largely dependent on the acquisition of funds by the Ministry through agencies including the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), and the ONR.Meanwhile, the Ministry has submitted a list of 35 primary schools, completing the total of 100 basic and primary schools that are to be assisted by JSIF.
As it relates to teacher training institutions, Bethlehem Teacher’s College in St. Elizabeth is operating on a partial basis, and is expected to return to normality by next week. Meanwhile, Church Teachers’ College in Manchester is still housing some of its male boarders in the auditorium while a number of female boarders now have to travel to and from the campus because of severe damage to the dormitories.
The Communications Director also informed that, “CASE (College of Agriculture, Science and Education) has started operations for all its students, but they have started under very severe conditions.”

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