PORT ANTONIO — Higgins Land Primary School, St. Ann, emerged winners of the National Solid Waste Management Authority’s (NSWMA) Clean School competition for primary and preparatory schools in Portland, St. Mary and St. Ann, at the St. Mary Parish Church hall, Port Maria, on Tuesday June 7.
The competition, which started in March, required participating schools to keep their surroundings clean, in addition to recycling waste material, and producing usable items in keeping with the goals of keeping communities clean and attractive, and ensuring proper waste management.
Higgins Land Primary won from a field of 20 schools, all of which performed creditably in the various components of the competition. Second place went to St. John’s Prep School, also in St. Ann, while third was May River Primary School, St. Mary.
Higgins Land Primary was presented with the winning trophy and a cheque for $150,000. St. John’s Prep and May River Primary received $75,000 and $40,000, respectively, as first and second runners up.
Participating schools accentuated the essence of the competition, by presenting cultural performances stressing the importance of proper garbage disposal, and demonstrating products made from assorted waste materials.
Community Relations and Education Officer at the Port Antonio Regional Office of the Ministry of Education, Horace Palmer, congratulated the organizers and praised the schools for their cooperation and support.
He emphasized the need for Jamaicans to desist from indiscriminately disposing of garbage, and adhere to the principles of properly collecting waste and dumping it in designated areas.
He also noted the importance of ensuring that young people, in particular, are fully sensitized to the importance of the effort, as they can play a major role in influencing their peers to help to guarantee success.
Mr. Palmer asserted that Jamaicans should endeavour to keep their communities clean primarily for themselves, and not just for the satisfaction of visitors.
Public Relation Officer for NSWMA, Althea Madden, expressed satisfaction with the cooperation of the schools with the aims and objectives of the competition, and pointed out that the contest was one way of promoting clean communities and proper waste disposal.
A number of the students and teachers from participating schools expressed pleasure at being able to participate in the competition, and gave the assurance that they are looking forward to participating again next year.
By ASTON G. BAILEY, JIS Reporter