Education Ministry Allocates $37 Million for School Furniture


The Ministry of Education has earmarked some $37 million for the provision of furniture to schools during the new academic year.
This was noted by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Audrey Sewell, during a back-to-school press briefing, held at the Ministry in Kingston, last week.
So far, some 200 schools have been placed on the priority list for school furniture. Mrs. Sewell informed that already, 21 of these schools have been provided with furniture, while the remaining schools will receive desks and chairs by the end of October.
“We have procured furniture and we are dealing with the critical needs first and so we are currently distributing furniture in the schools. We will not be able to address all the needs immediately, so we ask that the schools work with us as we work through that area,” she said.
The Permanent Secretary also informed that the Ministry will be embarking on a major furniture repair programme.
“This year we conducted an audit and found that there are many pieces of furniture out there that we do not have to discard and so we are undertaking a major repair programme,” she pointed out.
Mrs. Sewell said the Ministry has engaged the services of small contractors, including students at HEART Trust/NTA, to do the repairs, which should be completed within one year.
She also informed that the Ministry is currently conducting repairs on some 30 schools across the island. These repairs are being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Mrs. Sewell said in some cases, the repairs include the replacement of classrooms at schools which were affected by the last hurricane.
The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) is also carrying out repairs on 28 schools which were severely damaged.

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