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The Louise Bennett-Coverley All-Age School in East Rural St. Andrew, formerly Gordon Town All-Age, was officially reopened and renamed on Thursday(June 4).
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, along the Mavis Bank main road, the school has an enrollment of 695 students, with 21 teachers on staff. It provides quality primary education for children of Gordon Town, Middleton, Mavis Bank, Mount Industry, Papine and other neighbouring communities.
The Ministry of Education and the Primary Education Support Project (PESP) commenced the reconstruction of the institution in January 2006. The work was completed in September 2007 and the school renamed on September 1, 2008.
Special Advisor to the Minister of Education, Ruel Reid, welcomed the move to rename the school in honour of the life and work of the late cultural icon, fondly called ‘Miss Lou’, who resided in Gordon Town. He said that the move demonstrated that the institution understood the “value of preserving the past.”
He noted that the values of integrity, honesty, patriotism, hardwork, excellence, love and respect, which Miss Lou believed in, were of utmost importance to the development of the nation and should continue to be taught both in schools and homes.
Mr. Reid commended the principal and staff of the institution, for the continued focus on the holistic development of the child, and the sound record of achievement in academic and co-curricular pursuits.
Principal Winston Jackson, in his remarks, stated that the institution enjoyed a rich legacy, which “can only strengthen and enrich our resolve to continue to provide quality education for all the students, who enter through the gates of this noble institution.”
“(Miss Lou) would have spent most of her Jamaican years in the community of Gordon Town so it is most fitting that we should ‘tek the liberty’ of naming this school after such an icon, ” said past student, Roderick Rainford.
Miss Lou, Jamaica’s first lady of culture, is credited with influencing the acceptance of the Jamaican patois and culture across the world.
During the ceremony several presentations were made to the institution by wife of the Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, Lorna Golding; Mr. Rainford; the Barita Education Foundation, among others.