Feature
Chairperson, Early Childhood Commission, Trisha Williams-Singh (left) hands over a plant from her garden to Principal, Horizon Park Primary and Infant School, Lloyd Bennett, at Horizon Park Primary and Infant School’s Retirees Appreciation Banquet, held at The Knutsford Court Hotel recently.
Photo: Adrian Walker

Story Highlights

  • Horizon Park Primary and Infant School in St. Catherine is being lauded for improving its scores towards full certification from the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) within a short period of time.
  • Chairperson of the ECC, Trisha Williams-Singh, says the school moved from a score of 31 per cent to 91 per cent, towards achieving all 12 Standards of the ECC, based on assessments by the Commission.
  • “For an [early-childhood] institution to leave from 31 per cent to 91 per cent in eight weeks [for full certification], that’s a big deal,” Mrs. Williams-Singh said.

Horizon Park Primary and Infant School in St. Catherine is being lauded for improving its scores towards full certification from the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) within a short period of time.

Chairperson of the ECC, Trisha Williams-Singh, says the school moved from a score of 31 per cent to 91 per cent, towards achieving all 12 Standards of the ECC, based on assessments by the Commission.

“For an [early-childhood] institution to leave from 31 per cent to 91 per cent in eight weeks [for full certification], that’s a big deal,” Mrs. Williams-Singh said.

She added that this is unlike the ordinary in Jamaica, noting that the school’s achievement is worth highlighting, as it speaks volumes of the good leadership at the institution.

Mrs Williams-Singh was speaking at the Horizon Park Primary and Infant School’s Retirees Appreciation Banquet, held at The Knutsford Court Hotel recently.

She pointed out that the Infant Department at the school needs an entirely new building, separate and apart from the school, due to the growing population.

The Chairperson noted that she was prepared to lobby on the school’s behalf to acquire funds that will construct a new building dedicated only to the Infant Department.

St. Catherine currently has 438 early-childhood institutions, 31 of which are public schools that are funded by the Government; 18 private schools, which are funded from fees collected, and 221 public-private schools, which receive a stipend from the Government.

Mrs. Williams-Singh said the only public school in St. Catherine that has attained all 12 Standards of the ECC is Mount Hermon Primary and Infant School.

“The purpose of these Standards is to ensure that our children are learning in the best environment; the children will matriculate at their best,” she said.

Meanwhile, Principal, Horizon Park Primary and Infant School, Mr. Lloyd Bennett, said he was elated about the news.

Principal, Horizon Park Primary and Infant School, Lloyd Bennett speaks at his school’s Retirees Appreciation Banquet, held at The Knutsford Court Hotel recently.

 

“I feel elated, [but] I am not going to take the praise. I am going to give it to my Vice Principal, Mrs. Shernette Nicholas. When we were told we had to work on the department, the new school term was about to open and that was in a matter of two weeks, so I said give us until January,” Mr. Bennett recalled.

He told JIS News that when the school was informed that they needed to improve their space, the administrators relocated two grade-one classes to the upper floor and renovated their classrooms.

“The parents were a bit apprehensive. Not many persons bought into it (the idea),” he said.

For the 2018/2019 academic year, Mr. Bennett said a new teacher was employed as a caregiver for the infants. In addition, a grade-one teacher was reassigned to oversee the infant department, which now has 32 children registered.

The school also paid the relevant fees required of them and made contact with the Jamaica Fire Brigade for advice and certification of the fire-prevention equipment in the classes.

“Seventeen students [from the Infant Department] will graduate soon. It is as a result of the work of the teachers and the development officers, who visited often, [and] support, especially, from the vice principal,” Mr. Bennett told JIS News.

“We have got the green lights, but not full certification because of one minor thing, and we will be working on it,” he added.

Horizon Park Primary and Infant School is currently celebrating its 45th year of existence.