JSIF Commits $401 Million to Education Sector for 2005/06


The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) intends to spend some $401 million during the 2005/06 financial year on a number of projects in the education sector, including the construction and rehabilitation of several schools.
The expenditure represents an almost doubling of the $239 million spent during the previous fiscal period. JSIF’s Executive Director, Scarlette Gillings made the announcement as she addressed the contract signing ceremony for the expansion of the Mount Liberty All-age School in Kraal, Clarendon on March 9.
On February 11, JSIF awarded the $8.5 million works contract to D. Bisasor and Associates, and Wednesday’s signing was between the school and the community sponsors.
The scope of work will involve the addition of four new classrooms; a stairway, as well as a corridor and portico to complement the classrooms. Concrete fencing will also be erected to the front of the school and chain link fencing to the other boundaries and the playfield.
In addition, the classrooms will be equipped with 80-combination desks and chairs, and one teacher chair and desk per classroom. The expansion project is expected to create space to accommodate grades two and three students.
In her address at the signing ceremony, Faith Graham, Finance Manager at JSIF, said that her organization was committed to investing in community development in order to empower Jamaicans.
“We are indeed happy that the expansion of the Mount Liberty All-age School will assist in the upliftment of this community socially, and in the long run economically, as your children are educated and move on to take their place as productive citizens of this community and this country,” she stated.
Principal Joyce Montague, who gave an overview of the project, said that the additional space would allow the school to set up a library and implement a remedial reading programme for students and the wider community.
She said the institution had, among its goals, the empowerment of students, to help them develop a sense of independence and personal responsibility for their education. “The strategy, which we outlined to achieve this goal, is to improve the physical classroom condition to create a better learning environment”, she stated.
Some 411 students at the school will benefit directly from the project, which is expected to run for five months.

JIS Social