Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, has commended the Marcus Garvey Technical High School, in St. Ann, for an initiative, led by its Principal, Leslie Riley, which raised $14.6 million to construct a new block at the institution.
Just before touring the new block, comprising two classrooms, a cosmetology lab and a music room, on February 1, the Minister told reporters that the move was laudable. “Members of the school community have saved, they have always been prudent, and they have provided this building all on their own without reference to other Government funds,” he said.
“I commend the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), the Board and all those who have made it possible. It is a good example of what institutions can do for themselves if they want to be creative,” he added.
Pledging the Ministry’s support to the school, the Minister said that he has been informed that the students need help in Mathematics. “I am pledging that we will assign the necessary specialists to this school, and to the Region, to assist them in that area. The fact that they have done so well for themselves in terms of the building, the infrastructure, is a good sign, so we are here to encourage them and to help them to improve,” Mr. Thwaites said.
On measures to tackle behavioural challenges at the school, the Minister said a careful look must be done at the early socialisation of those who pose problems at schools. “We have to say to the students and their parents, do not waste this opportunity, as it will not come again. There is going to be no remedial work that can make up for disappointment here. Therefore, they have to fix themselves and understand the value of the education that is being offered here at Marcus Garvey,” Mr. Thwaites said.
He stressed that while the school is strong on hospitality, the students must know from now that there is no place in the hospitality industry for persons who are indisciplined.
Meanwhile, President of the PTA, Maxine Green-Butler, said the new building is a welcomed addition to the institution.
“The things that will be introduced will be of very good value to the students – cosmetology, barbering and music,” she said.
For Head Girl, Gola Gail Smith, the new space will assist in the rounded development of the students. “Along with my Prefects, we are going to ensure that the environment is kept clean,” she told JIS News.
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter