The Full Story
Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams, officially opened a new classroom block at the Black River High School in St. Elizabeth on Friday (September 29).
The classroom block was funded by a grant from the Japanese Embassy’s Grassroots Human Security Project and the Education Ministry, through the Primary and Secondary Infrastructure Project (PSIP), with oversight by the National Education Trust (NET).
The total value of the expansion project was over $235 million.
The new two-storey building boasts six new classrooms, two science labs, a home economics lab, a home management and a clothing and fashion lab, and improved bathroom facilities.
A chair lift shaft for disabled access was completed, and ramps and inclines were also added throughout the school to ensure easy access.
Work also included the improvement of the school’s sewerage system.
With the addition of the new space, the school, which has more than 1,500 students, will not have to revert to the shift system, as it now has a total of 38 classrooms.
In her address, Mrs. Williams said the occasion was a “remarkable milestone” for the Black River High School and the education sector.
“Such a significant transition marks the continuation of Black River’s cherished legacy and is a powerful testament to the unwavering dedication and hard work that have brought us to this juncture,” the Minister said.
She outlined that the school applied for and successfully obtained a grant of over US$166,000 from the Grassroots Human Security Project.
The funding was used to construct four classrooms and one staff room in December 2021.
Phase two of the project commenced in October of last year and was completed last month.
Mrs. Williams underscored that the Ministry, through PSIP, continues to pursue the enhancement of primary and secondary education institutions across the country.
“Our mission has always been clear: to alleviate overcrowding, eliminate the need for shift systems, significantly reduce the student-to-teacher ratio, and improve academic outcomes while increasing access to superior educational resources. Today, we proudly acknowledge the fruit of our labour at Black River High School,” the Minister said.
Mrs. Williams commended the NET team for overseeing the project on behalf of the Education Ministry and ensuring that “our strategic objectives are met”.
For his part, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining and Member of Parliament for St. Elizabeth South West, Hon. Floyd Green, thanked the Minister and all stakeholders involved in the execution of the project.
Principal of Black River High, Christopher Romans, also expressed gratitude to stakeholders for undertaking the task.