JIS News

The community of Islington in St. Mary is to be provided with a new basic school, to be funded by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund.
This early childhood institution will be constructed at a cost of $34 million, with both agencies providing $16 million each. The rest will be provided through community contribution.
The contract for the project was signed during a function held at the Friendship Baptist Church in Islington on September 28.
The new facility will replace the old Islington Basic School, which has been serving the community for 69 years, and has a student population of 80 and an academic staff of four.
Work is to begin in two weeks and the building should be completed in six months.
The project will include the construction of four new classrooms, kitchen, sick bay, principal’s office, teacher’s rest area, storeroom, sanitary facilities, an enclosed courtyard for a play area, a multi-purpose room and a gazebo that will serve the general assembly. There is also provision for furniture and equipment.
Addressing the function, Managing Director of JSIF, Scarlette Gillings, said the event was the embodiment of the commitment to education demonstrated by the Islington community and the funding agencies.
She said that providing for the early childhood education sector was one of the greatest responsibilities to be undertaken by the country, and gave an assurance that JSIF was fully committed to honouring that responsibility and meeting the challenge of proving world class basic and primary school facilities for under-served communities across the country.
Mrs. Gillings said JSIF was happy to be partnering with the CHASE Fund to finance the project, and praised members of the Islington community for the effort they had made to bring it to fruition.
Guest speaker at the function, Cinderella Badroe, Principal of the Martins Primary School in St. Mary, traced the history of the Islington Basic School and paid tribute to persons who have made contributions to the school and the community.
She said that implementation of the project was an indication of the seriousness with which government was treating the matter of early childhood education.
Mrs. Badroe implored members of the community to give the project their full support and to protect the facility.

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