JIS News

A contract valued at $27 million was signed on Thursday (October 8) between the Hounslow/Bigwoods Basic School Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), in St. Elizabeth, and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), for the construction of a basic school in the community.
At the ceremony at the Epiphany Anglican Church, Bigwoods, PTA Chairman, Donovan Williamson, told the gathering that, despite many setbacks in getting funding for the project, and after several name changes for the group, children in and around the community will, in a short while, benefit from their efforts.
“We used several initiatives to advance our wish to improve the condition in which these children have to learn. We were steadfast for this cause, and today I hail the other members who supported this process. With vision, willpower and a sense of purpose, we can achieve,” he said.
Community Development Officer with the Social Development Commission (SDC), Natalie Bradford-Remekie, said that the project demonstrated how much the work of the Commission relies on community groups. The SDC assisted with the project proposal and in the formation of the PTA.
“The SDC wants to implore all to rally around this project and to demonstrate good community spirit, by volunteering your time, talents and gifts, and stick with the project until its full completion. More importantly, ensure the sustainability of the project,” Mrs. Bradford-Remekie said.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, in commending the leadership of the community for sourcing funds for the construction of the school, said it would add another infrastructure for the development of young people in the community.
“The infrastructure is fundamental; what we do with the infrastructure, once it is built and equipped, is going to make the difference qualitatively in terms of how our young people benefit from it. The process has started, the resources are available, we are going to be constructing and, afterwards, we are going to have to manage to ensure maximum returns on this important investment,” Dr. Tufton said.
The institution will have three classrooms, bathroom facilities for students and teachers, kitchen with storage area, administrative area, drinking fountain, sick bay, play area and water storage tanks, as well as the necessary drainage system, driveway, and perimeter fencing.

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