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Students in and around Booby Drive, Olympic Gardens, Kingston, can now utilise the facilities of the All Saints Basic School, in the community, in a relatively comfortable learning environment.
Equipped with all necessary equipment, the new school building currently accommodates 112 students, but has capacity for 150.
Some of its features include: 800 feet of classroom space with a timber hip roof, a principal’s office, sick bay, students’ and teachers’ bathrooms, kitchen with floor and wall mounted cupboards, an eating area, reinforced boundary block wall fence and a play area.
The project, valued at $10. 8 million, was a collaborative effort between the Urban Development Corporation, (UDC), under its Lift up Jamaica Programme, and the Ministry of Education.
Addressing the official opening ceremony on Thursday (Jan. 29), Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, stated that infant schools were critical elements in fostering the growth and development of children.
He asked for a collaborative approach to ensure that future generations are instilled with good values.”We need to make the effort to ensure that we expose them to a different way of life,” he said.
Mr. Holness commended Lift-Up Jamaica. He said that there is value in the programme to provide short term employment through community project development and basic skills training by seeking to halt the deterioration in various communities.
“There is value in using the military which has significant capacity in engineering and project management. There is value in the UDC which has significant knowledge capabilities and resources in terms of project planning, management and procurement, to deliver efficiently, quickly and effectively for infrastructure development,” he added.
Senior Project Manager at the UDC, Eglon Christie, urged parents to get involved in their children’s school-related activities and assist in reducing the nation’s rising crime rate and juvenile delinquency.
“Encourage them and give them all the support they need,” he suggested.
He also pointed out that it is the responsibility of parents, guardians and members of the community to protect the school.
Principal of the school, Delphine Skyers, expressed gratitude for the construction of the new building. She noted that education is a critical element in the life of three to six years old.