The St George’s Girls’ Primary and Infant School, Duke Street, Kingston has been presented with the Key to the City of Kingston, for its contribution to the parish and, especially, to downtown Kingston.
The presentation was made by the Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Desmond McKenzie, on behalf of the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation(KSAC) Council, at the school on Wednesday(April 22).
St. George’s Girls’ Primary and Infant School has been providing education for Jamaica’s children for about 105 years. It started out as a co-ed outreach project of the St. George’s Anglican Church, East Street, Kingston. It continued as a co-educational institution for a number of years, until the change of the neighbouring St. Aloysius Primary school to a boys’ school, when it was re-designated an All-Age school catering to girls aged 4-15.
The all-age school section was discontinued and the school reverted to a primary and infant school in 1980.
Minister of Education, Andrew Holness (back row, left), and Principal of the St George’s Girls’ Primary and Infant School, Collette Ridley (back row, second left) join a group of beaming students as they pose with the Key to the City of Kingston, presented to the school during a Kingston and St Andrew Corporation civic ceremony, on Wednesday(April 22) at the institution on Duke Street. The school is this year celebrating its 105th anniversary.
The school is located in downtown Kingston, opposite Headquarter’s House and just below Gordon House, the seat of Parliament. It has been credited with outstanding performances in academics and the performing arts, as well as other areas.
During the civic ceremony at the school, at which the presentation was made, Mayor McKenzie said that he learnt about some of its achievements, while attending a graduation there last year.
The St George’s Girls’ Primary and Infant school’s junior dance group perform during a civic ceremony in which the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) presented the institution with the Key to the City of Kingston. The ceremony was held on Wednesday(April 22) at the school, Duke Street, Kingston, which is this year celebrating its 105th anniversary.
“I didn’t know that in the Division that I represent was a piece of Jamaican history that hardly anybody knew,” he said. The Mayor represents the Tivoli Gardens division of the KSAC which also includes sections of downtown Kingston.
KSAC Town Clerk, Errol Greene, said that the school had maintained scores far above the national average in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), and had won several speech, debating and dance competitions.
He said that its students have also been the recipients of several academic and other scholarships over the years.
Many of the institution’s past students have also been making their mark on Jamaica, including Director of Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn, who was at the function, and playwright and popular radio talk-show host, Barbara Gloudon.
Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, guest speaker at the function, said he was pleased with the school’s attempts to produce students who are socially adjusted. He said that the ministry is currently developing a policy aimed at improving the social well being of students.
“I don’t have a full plan to tackle it as yet, because I am still working out the details of the new transition policy for literacy and numeracy. But, I can tell you that, as soon as the literacy and numeracy policy has taken effect, the next thing I’m going to be looking at is, is how do I get back values, attitudes, deportment, social adjustment behavior within the schools,” Mr. Holness said.
He also reiterated Government’s commitment to 100 per cent literacy and numeracy at the primary school level within the next five years.
Mr. Holness said the Ministry of Education will be significantly increasing the number of literacy and numeracy specialists in the education system in order to achieve this goal.
Principal, Collette Ridley, said she was grateful the school was being acknowledged, because it had “moulded many students who can never forget the joyful moments, the indispensable knowledge gained that has prepared them for the wider world at large.”
She said St George’s Girls’ remains a beacon of light and opportunity for all who pass through its corridors.