JIS News

The government of Jamaica will be spending approximately $100 million to acquire furniture and equipment to prepare schools for the new term in September.
Acting Director of Project Management and Technical Services in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, Lauriston Wilson, made the disclosure to JIS News at a Think Tank held yesterday (Aug.10) at the agency’s Half Way Tree Road headquarters.
“We are having to work again this year through the Education Transformation Team and through the Public Sector Reform Unit of [the] Cabinet Office in awarding contracts. We got permission to .single source, or direct contract approximately $100 million worth of furniture and equipment,” he disclosed.
He revealed that the Ministry had identified suppliers and schools, and the quantities that were to be ordered for each institution. It is expected that these contracts would be signed very soon, Mr. Wilson said, noting that some of the furniture suppliers have commenced work in good faith. He said that deliveries could begin from as early as next week.
Turning to the preparedness of school plants, Mr. Wilson told JIS News that a contract has been awarded for the replacement of buildings lost in a fire, at the Bethesda Primary School in St. Thomas. Also, students of the Ruseas High School in Hanover will be housed in temporary accommodation, while work continued on the defective school building.
Interim facilities will also be provided at Jose Marti, St. Jago and Charlemont High Schools, while extensions to the buildings are being completed.
The Ministry, Mr. Wilson added, was also looking at the possibility of using suitable tents as a temporary measure where convenient, to help house the increasing student population in some schools, which may have critical space needs.