JIS News

State Minister in the Education, Youth and Culture Ministry, Senator Noel Monteith has said that the Ministry is aiming to provide 14,000 new school spaces by September 2007.
Senator Monteith, who was making his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate on February 3, explained that the school spaces would be provided through the expansion of existing schools and the building of new institutions.
According to the Senator, eight new schools would be constructed, while 24 existing schools have been identified for expansion.
Of the already established schools, 13 are currently under construction for expansion, while the remaining 11 will require professional services for pre-contract work.
The State Minister informed the Senate that the Ministry has requested expressions of interest for professional services and consultants have been selected. The contracts for engagement are to be finalised on February 27.
On the matter of procurement of furniture for schools, Senator Monteith said the Ministry has expended some $88.4 million on 42 contracts, and some 27,320 units are to be delivered to schools across the island.
He pointed out that three forums were hosted in Montego Bay, Oracabessa and Mandeville to attract small furniture manufacturers to repair and produce school furniture, with some 70 expressions of interest being generated.
Senator Monteith pointed out that the Correctional Services Department would also be manufacturing furniture, using inmates who were tradesmen.