JIS News

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture has identified $87 million in its existing budget to be used in the repair of some 68 schools, which were severely damaged during Hurricane Ivan. Work has already commenced on 32 of these institutions.
The allocation is in addition to assistance received from a number of entities to repair over 303 schools. According to information contained in a Ministry Paper on the national relief and recovery programme, tabled in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (Nov. 23) by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, the Jamaica Social Investment Fund will undertake repairs to 97 institutions including 31 basic schools at a cost of over $180 million. Already, 26 contracts have been awarded.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Nova Scotia has undertaken to refurbish 11 primary schools at a cost of $15.5 million, while the CHASE Fund will finance the repair of 39 damaged basic schools at a cost of $36.3 million.
Additionally, the United States Agency for International Development is funding repairs to 21 primary and all- age Schools and three teacher-training institutions. The agency has also offered assistance to fix other schools identified by the Ministry.
In the meantime, the Office of National Reconstruction has invited bids from contractors to restore 66 schools, most of which are secondary schools. The West Indies Aluminum Company/Aluminum Partners of Jamaica has also pledged $18.7 million primarily towards school repairs.
All affected schools have been assessed with total damage to the sector amounting to $806.9 million. Currently, no schools are being used as shelters.