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JIS News

Kings and Carnival Basic Schools on Seaga Boulevard in Tivoli Gardens, Kingston, were recently upgraded at a cost of almost $2 million donated by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund.
Some $801,624 was spent at Kings Basic School to refurbish sections of the building; replace old benches with chairs and tables for the students; buy a refrigerator and stove for the kitchen, and establish a much needed computer room, equipped with two computers. To top it off, the students now have the comfort of air-conditioned classrooms.
Carnival Basic School received $1.15 million to assist with repairs on the building; construct proper bathroom facilities; provide new chairs and tables for the students; buy a refrigerator and stove for the kitchen; and paint the building. In addition, students now have access to the computer and a brand new computer laboratory.
The CHASE Fund was established by the government in 2002 as a limited liability company to receive, distribute, administer and manage contributions made by lottery companies under Section 59G of the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Act.
Marcia Diedrick, Acting Principal of Carnival Basic School, told JIS News that the institution, which was established in the late 1950s, now have a population of 163 students.
Prior to the improvements made by CHASE, she said the school was lacking in furniture, such as seating for the children, as well as proper bathroom facilities. “CHASE has granted us bathroom facilities, painted up the building and provided seating for the children, for which we are most grateful,” she said.
Miss Diedrick said the period of time from requesting assistance to actual implementation was very short. “I felt real great when we came back and saw the improvements because we had also received a refrigerator, a stove and two computers, plus a teacher’s desk and chairs,” she said.
Even though enrolment was always high, Miss Diedrick noted that this has grown even more since receiving the improved facility, to the point where they were now unable to accept any more students. The arrival of the computers is causing quite a “stir”, as the students are looking forward to becoming computer literate.
Rosemarie Wright, Principal of Kings Basic School said the institution, which currently has 96 students, began a board and zinc structure in 1995. However, through the ‘Lift Up’ Jamaica Programme, a concrete building was eventually erected.
CHASE has further improved the facility by building a new kitchen, inclusive of cupboards, and has provided a refrigerator and a stove. Through the Fund, the school also received a new computer room as well as all the necessary equipment needed for the school.
Miss Wright is also pleased at how quickly the work was undertaken, once they had met the necessary requirements. “The students as well as the parents were very excited about the improvements,” she told JIS News.
“What they have done for us, we really appreciate it very much because of ourselves, the school body couldn’t have done it, and so we were all filled with excitement,” she said.
As for the computers, Miss Wright said they have certainly enhanced the school’s learning programme.

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