MONTEGO BAY — A $29.3 million financing agreement for the expansion and rehabilitation of the Haddington Basic School, Hanover, was signed by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) at the school on Wednesday.
The main objective is providing the 57 students and three teachers with an improved learning environment. The scope of work will include upgrading of three classrooms, construction of a covered ramp, upgrading of students’ bathrooms, kitchen and storage areas, construction of a cafeteria and play area, fencing of the play area and installation of two water storage tanks.
Expansion and rehabilitation works are scheduled to get underway soon, and should be completed in four months, with community members to benefit from employment opportunities.
Project Manager for JSIF’s Basic Needs Trust Fund 6th Programme, Carl McKenzie, said that the project would not only benefit the students, but would also impact on the community.
He said that the partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), which provided the funding for the expansion under the Trust Fund programme, demonstrated a commitment to community development. He also noted that the Haddington Progressive Society has proposed to host a library and remedial classes for the wider community.
He said that since JSIF’s establishment in 1996, part of its strategy has been to use education as a platform for eradicating poverty and improving the lives of Jamaicans.
“No country can succeed if it does not educate its people. Not only is education important in reducing poverty, it is also a key to wealth creation and development”, Mr. McKenzie stated.
He also noted the community’s contribution to the project in sweat equity of over $4.8 million, and commended the citizens for their commitment to their community.
“We are pleased to be making this investment, and we encourage you to continue to work together to uplift the community of Haddington,” Mr. McKenzie said.
JSIF has continued to invest in the building, upgrading and rehabilitation of schools at the basic, primary and junior high levels since its inception, and has completed 47 schools in Hanover, at a cost of some $266 million.
By GLENIS ROSE, JIS Reporter