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A project aimed at enabling young children to learn and develop optimally, will receive $228.5 million in the 2009/10 Budget.
According to the Estimates of Expenditure for the new fiscal year, the Enhancement of Basic Schools project, supported by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), was initially slated to run from 2002 to 2006, but that deadline has been revised twice, with the latest completion date set for December, 2009.
Anticipated targets for 2009/10 are: completion of the Shortwood Infant department, and construction of the Arthur Wint Basic, St. Francis Practising, Nain Basic and the Foga Road Basic schools, as well as the Hanover, Clarendon and St. Elizabeth resource centres.
There are also plans to furnish and equip the Fern Grove and Shortwood basic schools, and to complete New Learning Environment consultancies.
Some of the major achievements under the project so far are: the completion of island wide sensitisation workshops on the New Learning Environment, NCTVET Level II training of 680 early childhood practitioners and NCTVET Assessors training for 80 Education Officers.
Construction activities are also at varying levels of completion at several early childhood institutions, while there has been verification of 2,700 institutions. In addition, registration and legal and regulatory framework consultancies are 80 per cent complete, while nine early Childhood officers have completed fellowships granted under the project.
The entire project is expected to cost more than $755 million, of which the CDB will provide over $637.7 million and the Government of Jamaica the remainder.

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