JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Education, Hon. Rev Ronald Thwaites, is urging communities to ensure that schools and their equipment are protected, so they can serve for generations.
  • The seven upgraded schools are: Allman Town Primary, Central Branch All Age, Melrose Infant, Primary and Junior High; St. Mary’s Early Childhood Development Centre, St. Michael’s Primary, St. Simon’s Basic, and Windward Road Primary and Junior High.
  • For her part, Principal at the Melrose Infant, Primary and Junior High School, Jennifer Lee, reported that the students “are motivated, comfortable, and happy to work, as the classrooms look pretty; and the seating is now appropriate for their age.”

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev Ronald Thwaites, is urging communities to ensure that schools and their equipment are protected, so they can serve for generations.

The Minister  made the call today (March 11), while speaking at a handing over ceremony for seven Corporate Area schools that were upgraded by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), at a cost of over $24 million.

The event was held at the Central Branch All Age School, in Kingston. Assistance was also provided under the joint Government of Jamaica/European Union (EU) Poverty Reduction Programme, through its schools equipping and fencing project,  which involved the construction of five play areas, complete with perimeter fencing; provision of play equipment, as well as furniture for the classrooms.

“These are things that Government (alone) would not have been able to provide in that number, or as promptly as they have been provided for you. We must recognize what is being given to us, and we must take care of them. The desks and chairs and the facilities that we have must last us,” the Minister emphasized.

“We won’t have the resources to replace them when they are broken down, and when the European Union is able to help us again, they won’t be coming back to these schools, because there are many others of  Jamaica’s 11,000 public schools that need the help too,” he added.

The  seven upgraded schools are: Allman Town Primary,  Central Branch All Age,  Melrose Infant, Primary and Junior High; St. Mary’s Early Childhood Development Centre, St. Michael’s Primary, St. Simon’s Basic, and Windward Road Primary and Junior High.

Managing Director for JSIF, Scarlette Gillings, said the work done at the schools and the furniture placed in them, were geared at creating a more enabling environment for the promotion of better learning.

For her part, Principal at the Melrose Infant, Primary and Junior High School, Jennifer Lee, reported that the students “are motivated, comfortable, and happy to work, as the classrooms look pretty; and the seating is now appropriate for their age.”

She said the teachers are pleased with the upgrading work, and parents are helping to keep the institution safe.

Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for West Kingston, Mr. Desmond McKenzie, lauded JSIF and the EU for supporting the schools and other institutions in the area, noting that equipping the institutions will ensure that the next generation benefits from well operated schools.