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Story Highlights

  • Approximately 30 schools are still in need of renovation in Region Two
  • Assistance has been forthcoming from the JDF and the HEART Trust/NTA
  • Region Two includes the parishes of St. Thomas, Portland and St. Mary

The Ministry of Education is collaborating with a number of entities to ensure that schools in need of repairs are ready before the start of the 2013/14 academic year, which begins in September.

Speaking to journalists following a meeting of the Rotary Club of downtown Kingston at the Hotel Four Seasons in Kingston, on August 7, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, said the partnership is essential, particularly in sections of Region Two, where approximately 30 schools are still in need of renovation.

The schools, located in the Region Two parishes of St. Thomas, Portland and St. Mary were damaged during the passage of Hurricane Sandy last year.

“We are trying our best…tens of millions of dollars are needed in order to do routine upgrading, in order to complete the restoration of the schools. We are hard pressed at this time to find all the money,” the Minister informed.

Rev. Thwaites noted, however, that assistance has been forthcoming from the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), the HEART Trust/NTA, as well as alumni and voluntary associations.

“The Jamaica Defence Force has offered some technical and manpower assistance in some parts, and we are asking the HEART Trust/NTA, which has a strong technical capacity to do the same. We are also getting good support from alumni associations and other voluntary groups,” the Minister said.

Turning to other matters, he said it is anticipated that textbooks and grants from the Ministry of Finance and Planning will be provided prior to the start of the term.

“As far as textbooks are concerned, we expect to have all we are supplying in place for the opening of the school year. We are also expecting that the Ministry of Finance will put us in a position where the grants that go to school for maintenance and so on, will be in place satisfactorily before the opening of the term,” he said.