The community of Delveland in Western Westmoreland, now has a modern, comfortable and well-equipped basic school which was officially handed over to residents on Wednesday (March 24) by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).
Funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), through the JSIF, the Delveland Basic School was constructed and equipped at a cost of $6.3 million.
The project includes the construction of three classrooms, a kitchen and sanitary facilities, as well as the provision of furniture and kitchen equipment to facilitate the 75 students and three teachers who utilise the facility on a daily basis.
The Jamaica Social Investment Fund’s MIS Manager, Mr. Don Miller ushers the students from the Delveland Basic School into their new school building which was officially opened recently.
MIS Manager at the JSIF, Donald Miller, in addressing the residents at the handing over ceremony, congratulated them for contributing 11 per cent of the project cost, which qualified the project for JSIF funding. He pointed out that to date JSIF had spent more than $573 million on the construction, upgrading and equipping of primary, all-age and basic schools across the island, adding that Westmoreland ranked at the top with regards to the level of support received from JSIF in all the parishes.
“When this investment is broken down on a parish by parish basis, Westmoreland has received the second highest level of support. More specifically, of the 143 school projects JSIF has implemented 13 or roughly nine per cent, have been in Westmoreland,” he said. The total value of these 13 projects was approximately $44 million, he added.
Mr. Miller also mentioned that six additional school projects valued at more than $40 million were currently in the JSIF pipeline at various stages.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry and Tourism and Member of Parliament for Western Westmoreland, Dr. Wykeham McNeill
Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry and Tourism and Member of Parliament for Western Westmoreland, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, in his address, praised the project as one which was carried out with a lot of foresight, adding that once the proper tools were given to children to work with, there was nothing that they could not accomplish. He said that a proper education was one such tool.
“It is a proven fact that this is probably the most important stage of their lives. It is the base that is set at the early childhood level, at the basic school level, that is going to keep them for the rest of their lives,” he said.
He urged the community to always protect the school in the interest of the future of the young ones.