MANDEVILLE — The Nain Early Childhood Institution and the St. Elizabeth Resource Centre were opened at Nain, in St. Elizabeth, on June 9, by Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness.
Built at a cost of $72 million, both centres can accommodate 75 students.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Mr. Holness said the investment that Government has made in the facility is geared at eliminating the main challenges faced by schools offering early childhood education, and to ensure that the children can learn in an environment where distractions are limited or non-existent.
“This is an investment in education that will solve the infrastructure problems that would have affected this area at the early childhood stage… solve the sanitation problem, solve the space problem, and the quality problem of teachers at the early childhood level,” he said.
“The school has administrative capacity, it has teaching capacity and it has the capacity for professional development. In addition to ensuring that your child makes the most of this facility, assist the school in ensuring that the plant is maintained. Let’s bind together, let’s work together to ensure that the building is maintained,” he told the community members.
Mr. Holness pointed out that the Ministry will take control of the early childhood institution soon, and operate it as an infant school, providing free tuition for students, along with nutrition. He advised that if parents encounter difficulty with transportation costs in sending their children to the school, they should report it to the administrators and the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
“If you make it to the school gate, nobody can turn you back. If there is a problem with transportation, make it known to the PATH programme; make it known to the school, so that we can make provision to assist. You have no excuse for not sending your child to school. Make the education of your children a priority,” the Minister stressed.
Features of the early childhood institution are three class rooms, which can accommodate 25 students, a computer room, and other amenities. The resource centre has capacity for babies and children up to three years old and a learning centre for children four to five years old, a library, multi-purpose room and parenting room. The resource centre will also serve as a training area for early childhood teachers in the parish.
By GARFIELD L. ANGUS, JIS Reporter