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JIS News

Monday, September 24 has been set as the new date for some 480 new students of grades seven and nine to begin the new school year, at the Jose Marti Technical High School in St. Catherine.
This was stated by Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, when he visited the institution, on (September 20), to find out first hand, why the students were not able to start school in early September.
Following a meeting with the school’s Principal, Bevar Moodie; Chief Education Officer, Jasper Lawrence and Chief Technical Officer, Lauriston Wilson, the Minister told JIS News that there were several reasons for the delay in the completion of the new block of classrooms to accommodate the students.
Mr. Holness said that some of the contributing factors were beyond the control of the Ministry, including Hurricane Dean on August 19, which had setback the project, as there was a loss of electricity, which restricted the contractors; and the general election.
The Minister also pointed to the problem of contractor overload, where contractors tendered for and won too many projects, which caused them to miss deadlines, because their resources were spread too thinly.
“I give the nation a guarantee that we will be looking at this matter very seriously. We have been given an assurance by the contractor that they would complete the work over the weekend and be ready for occupancy on Monday (September 24), and I will be here on Monday morning to ensure that classes are opened,” he emphasised.
The Minister said that the Ministry took the matter of students in school very seriously, and assured parents that he would “mobilise all the resources at my disposal to ensure that this does not continue for any prolonged period.”
Mr. Holness also pointed out that an analysis would be done with all the relevant stakeholders to determine where breakdowns occur and how to eliminate them.