Prime Minister Bruce Golding has urged the community of Brandon Hill, Clarendon to protect their new infant school because education is their way to progress.
"Protect your school…this is the community's property, this is the community's institution. It is the community's ladder to prosperity and success," the Prime Minister said.
Mr. Golding was speaking yesterday morning March 17 at the official launch of the Cari-Med Foundation at the Evelyn Mitchell Infant School Centre of Excellence in Top Hill, which is a district of Brandon Hill in North Clarendon. The launch also served as the handing over ceremony of the school to the Jamaica Baptist Union as a government-run Church school. The school is the first major project of the Foundation.
The Prime Minister lauded the Foundation's vision and said, "Every dollar we invest in early childhood education is perhaps equivalent to ten dollars invested later in the learning process. If we enable them to be focused then the chances of them gaining success as they get older is so much greater."
Mr. Golding said that support for early childhood education is a subject where there is national agreement.
“Between government and opposition, there is a consensus on the direction that we have to go. We supported the Establishment of the Early Childhood Commission, we are accelerating it to see how we can get this critical element of our educational system properly aligned and properly supported," Mr. Golding said.
Founder and Chairman of the Jamaica Early Childhood Development Foundation, Mrs. Lorna Golding made a cash donation to the school at the event.
The Cari-Med Foundation donated about $70 million towards the construction of the school which is on land owned by the Jamaica Baptist Union. It opened in September 10 when it replaced four basic schools in the district.
In his address, the Minister of Education said that the school was the first Infant school to be listed as a Centre of Excellence. It has four self-contained classrooms with washrooms, a multi-purpose area, and auditorium with stage, sick bay, canteen and administrative offices.
Minister Holness said the project was an example of how the private sector can be a partner to increase the number of quality school spaces in the education system.
The Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund donated a bus which provides a free pick up and drop off school bus service for the children. CHASE will fully maintain the bus for one year.
The Evelyn Mitchell Infant School Centre of Excellence is named in memory of the mother of the Chairman of the Cari-Med Foundation, businessman, Glenford Christian. The Christian and Mitchell families were recognised at the function.
Issued By: The Office of The Prime Minister