The students and teachers of Esher Full Gospel Basic School in Hanover, now operate in a more comfortable educational environment following the addition of a new building to the school.
The new facilities are the fourth to be constructed under the Food For The Poor Jamaica 50 Campaign, through which it plans to build and /or upgrade 50 early childhood educational institutions in 50 months.
The official opening of the new facilities, which comprise three large classrooms (which can be subdivided into additional learning spaces), a sickbay, an office, kitchen and bathrooms, took place on Friday, October 12.
In an address at the opening ceremony, Executive Director, Food For The Poor, Mrs. Jacqueline Johnson, noted that her organisation is very excited and energised about its Jamaica 50 campaign, in celebration of the country’s Golden Jubilee. She said that her team is passionate about assisting in creating a legacy of easier access to education for the nation’s children.
“Every child in this island deserves nothing less than an opportunity to gain education of the very highest quality. We at Food For The Poor are committed to replacing schools, which have been deemed as unfit spaces for pre-primary children to learn,” she stated.
While expressing appreciation to the donors and partners who are assisting with the funding for the school building campaign, Mrs. Johnson also highlighted the capacity of the new and improved school facilities.
“We are happy that the Esher Full Gospel Basic School now has the capacity and equipment to better serve this community, and the neighbouring areas of Bulls Bay, Orange Bay, Elgin Town, Haughton Court, First Hill, Dry Hill, Lucea, Lances Bay and Cove,” she stated.
She commended the 23 year old institution for its track record of quality service to the youngsters of the area, and wished for its continued success. The school has 117 students and six teachers.
In the meantime, President Elect for the Jamaica Teachers Association, Dr. Mark Nicely, in bringing the keynote address, stated that any investment in any aspect of early childhood education is a wise move.
“Investment in early childhood education is of course a very solid investment, and will have rich returns in the future. The early years of a child’s life are the most critical, simultaneously, the greatest return on education that any country will get, is what that country spends on early childhood education,” he stated.
He underscored the importance of the home environment towards the education of children, noting that that situation highlights the importance of the involvement of parents in the education of their children.
Dr. Nicely emphasized that good parenting and purposeful early childhood education is the best formula for preventing social ills, and creating a positive and productive society.