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The Ballynure Basic School in Harry Watch, Manchester was officially opened on Sunday (February 28) after extensive upgrading work, which was funded by the Culture Health Arts Science and Education (CHASE) Fund at a cost of more than $10 million.
The project included expansion of classrooms, putting in new bathrooms, and renovating existing buildings.
Speaking at the opening ceremony held at the Ballynure Faith Assembly Ministries, principal of the institution, Ms. Karlene Coley, said the project has enhanced the ability of the institution to deliver quality education.
“With the help from CHASE, we are able to live up to our philosophy of providing a rich, safe and stimulating environment for our children as well as adhere to the standards set by the Early Childhood Commission,” she told the audience.
Senior Supervisor at the Ministry of Education, Ms. Sandra Murray-Buchanan, stated that the upgrading project has come at a time when the education authorities are holding early childhood education institutions responsible for the quality of service that they deliver.
“It is now much easier for Ballynure Basic School to meet all the 12 standards of the Early Childhood Commission. The greatest influences on education achievement, workforce quality and the provision of safe, civil communities, is the quality of a child’s experience in the early years. It is in the early childhood period that children develop their basic values, attitudes, skills, behaviours and habits, which may be long-lasting,” she stated.
Chief Executive Officer of the CHASE Fund, Mr. W. “Billy” Heaven, told the gathering that the work of his organisation “is about nation building” and part of the strategic direction in the year ahead is to continue to place strong emphasis on critical areas that will create new opportunities and promote long-term development.
“With the help of community members and parents that share our philosophy, much can be achieved,” Mr. Heaven said.