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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Jones Town Primary School, located in the heart of the South St. Andrew community, has benefitted from much-needed repairs.
  • The work was undertaken at a cost of some $6 million.
  • Since the repairs the environment at the school is far more conducive to teaching and learning.

The Jones Town Primary School, located in the heart of the South St. Andrew community, has benefitted from much-needed repairs through the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP).

The work, which was undertaken at a cost of some $6 million, improved the physical infrastructure and aesthetics of the 100-year old institution, which serves the community and surrounding areas.

Chairman of the school board, Maria Jones, told JIS News Jones Town Primary is regarded as a true community school. She said that the building had deteriorated over the years and JEEP answered the call for the rehabilitation and restoration works.

“Under the JEEP …the roof was re-covered because the roof was slab so they covered it completely with membrane and then repaired (the ceiling), Mrs. Jones informed.

In addition to that, she said, “all of the internal classrooms were repainted, bathrooms were also repaired and repainted and restored, the staff room was also repainted and restored.”

Mrs. Jones noted since the repairs the environment at the school is far more conducive to teaching and learning.  “The place was truly run down… now, in terms of our physical facilities and physical appearance, the school really looks great,” she said.

She informed that the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority has also been supporting the institution since Labour Day 2013, and this support has been expanded into a full scale adoption of the school.

Quantity Surveyor with JEEP, Randal Hamilton, told JIS News that the repair works provided employment opportunities for over 40 skilled and unskilled persons.

He informed that rotation was undertaken to ensure that the work was shared among various masons, carpenters, painters and plumbers over a two-month period.

JEEP is one of the Government’s strategies geared at countering chronic unemployment among some Jamaicans, particularly those in lower socio-economic groups. It also provides employment for persons with special needs, as well as those with low skill levels.

Over the decades, the Jones Town Primary School has acquired a well-deserved reputation for being exceptional in preparing students for placement in traditional high schools.

This reputation was at its peak in 1972, when enrolment rose to 1,650 students. This led to Jones Town Primary becoming the first school to be placed on the shift system by the Ministry of Education.

Currently, the institution caters to approximately 300 students, and has 13 teachers and two guidance counsellors.