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PORT ANTONIO — A new high school is to be built in Portland, as the Government seeks to expand opportunities and improve education delivery for young Jamaicans.

Making the disclosure at the official opening of the newly rebuilt Fruitful Vale Primary School, Portland, on Wednesday (May 18), Minister of Education, Hon Andrew Holness, said the new school will be part of a programme, through which 10-15 high schools will be constructed by Government to address the lack of space in the system at the secondary level.

The newly built school began operating in September 2010. It replaced the old Fruitful Vale Primary School structure, which had served the community for many years.

The function was attended by a large gathering headed by the Governor General, His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen, and Lady Allen, and included Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Floyd Patterson, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Audrey Sewell.

Mr. Holness said there is a definite need to build more high schools to provide more spaces for students at that level, as well as to reduce the size of classes from the current 40 to the more desirable 30 per class.

He asserted that the Government recognised the critical importance of a good education system to national development, and was committed to providing the necessary support.

He stated that Government is not only interested in building schools, but also in producing better people as a result. He said the leadership provided in schools is critical in inspiring and molding the character of the students.

The Minister praised Fruitful Vale’s education quality, adding that the outstanding quality of past students, of which the Governor General is one, was a powerful indicator of the nurturing and guidance it gives in preparing students for the national development process.

He also assured that the special co-operation which exists between the Anglican Church and the Government, as a result of the school’s historical relationship with the church, will continue.

He urged the community to take the best care of the new structure, to regard it as their own and enable it to serve the area, as long as possible.

                                                           

By ASTON G. BAILEY