Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, says he will be sending a Ministry team to the Paul Bogle High School, St Thomas, to work out a plan for taking the school off the shift system.
Mr. Holness gave the commitment Friday (August 14) while touring the school, which recently had two blocks added at a cost of over $12.9 million.
The Ministry undertook the expansion with the aim of taking the school off the shift system. But the principal, Carlton Jackson, said the school would have to continue with two shifts, because it was difficult to accommodate over 1,000 students on one shift. However, Mr. Holness is insisting that, with some technical support from the Ministry, the school should be able to move to a single-shift within two years.
“This school must come off shift,” he said. He told the principal he would send the team from the Ministry, “to assist in structuring the classrooms here and your timetable to come off shift.”
The expansion consisted of two new blocks with 11 classrooms, two computer labs, science lab, an agricultural and environmental lab and an art and craft and textile lab. A technical drawing room, business administration room, building technology workshop and bathrooms are also housed on the new blocks.
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, walks up the newly constructed ramp which allows wheelchair access to the classrooms at Paul Bogle High School in St Thomas on Friday (August 14). The Minister was on tour of the school, which recently had two new blocks added at a cost of over $12.9 million.
The work also included the provision of certain administrative facilities, such as a general office, guidance and counselling centre and sick bay. Other facilities include storage areas, a bio-digester sewage system and an all-purpose court. The school also received 60 computers under the World Bank-funded ROSE II programme.
Member of Parliament for St Thomas Eastern, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, said he was very impressed with the design of the new blocks, which feature ramp access for wheelchairs.
“I want to make special mention of this institution in terms of its friendliness for the physically challenged,” he stated, as he lauded the institution for providing wheelchair access to its classrooms.
The principal said that the school received 140 new students through the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), but noted that the number of Grade Seven students could rise to about 200.
He said this was due to an improvement in its performance, with parents now seeing Paul Bogle High as the “school of choice” in the parish, and trying to get their children admitted. The school was upgraded from junior high to high school in 2004.