The End Time Basic School in Waterhouse, Kingston, is to receive a facelift as its old infrastructure is to be replaced with a new building, which will provide the institution with three sets of classrooms.
Contracts for the works, scheduled to commence shortly, was signed during a ceremony at the institution, Friday (September 3).
Funded under the European Union’s (EU) Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP II), which is being implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), the works includes construction of bathroom facilities for teachers and students, a kitchen, administrative area, sick bay, sewer and drainage system and perimeter fencing.
Expected to be completed in four months, the project, which will cost $31.6 million, will benefit 80 students currently registered at the institution that is hampered by severe overcrowding.
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness (right), signs the contract for construction of a new school building at the End Time Basic School, Waterhouse, Kingston, at the school Friday (September 3). Managing Director, Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Scarlette Gillings is seated at left, while Head of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi Alemanni is seated centre. Looking on in is Member of Parliament for St. Andrew Western, Anthony Hylton.
The community, along with the school’s Board and Parent Teacher’s Association (PTA), will contribute over $8 million to the overall cost, through cash or kind including security for materials and equipment, demolition and site clearance, provision of two employment co-ordinators/community liaison officers and landscaping after the completion of the project.
Speaking at the contract signing, Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, said the new school will be a model institution for schools in the community, and should be a school that the community takes as its own, advising residents to keep, care and protect it.
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness (second left) watches Member of Parliament for St. Andrew Western, Anthony Hylton (left) and Head of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi Alemanni (second right), break ground for the construction of a new building for the End Time Basic School in Waterhouse, Kingston at the institution Friday (September 3). Looking on from third left are: Founder of the End Time Basic School, Elsaida Luke; Managing Director, Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Scarlette Gillings; and the school Board Chairman, Kurt Francis.
He noted that early childhood education is the critical foundation for the education system as a whole, and that the government has been working to ensure that children get equal access to early childhood education.
Mr. Holness noted that the Government has been seeking to “expand its presence” in the early childhood sector, pointing to the administration’s move to rationalise the sector “to make sure that we assist, enable schools in meeting the set standards for service delivery.”
He also pointed out that, apart from plans to construct 15 to 17 new early childhood institutions, the Government was also interested in looking at existing basic schools to determine which schools meet its standards and those that have capacity for expansion.
Head of the EU Delegation to Jamaica, Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi Alemanni, said the EU would continue to support the education and other sectors in poverty reduction, pointing out that the EU has invested $1.2 billion in the PRP II project, which focuses on poverty alleviation in volatile and vulnerable communities.
Member of Parliament for St. Andrew Western, Anthony Hylton, thanked the EU for investing and continuing to invest in Jamaica, particularly through the PRP II. He also thanked the government for its commitment to advancing education.
Managing Director, JSIF, Scarlette Gillings, said that the Fund was proud to have partnered with the school in its development thrust, to rehabilitate the institution and provide children with an improved learning environment.
Following the ceremony, Mr. Holness, Mr. Hylton, Mrs. Gillings, Ambassador Alemanni and Founder of the End Time Basic School, Elsaida Luke, as well as Board Chairman, Kurt Francis, participated in the groundbreaking.