A new classroom block to ease overcrowding at the Maverley Primary and Junior High school in North West St. Andrew, was officially handed over at a ceremony at the school on Wednesday (May 5).
The project was carried out at a cost of $38 million, with Phase II of the European Union’s (EU) Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP II) providing $29.8 million through the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), and the Maverley Community an additional $8.2 million in cash and kind, including demolition and site clearance and cleaning up after construction.
The scope of the project involved the construction and equipping of three classrooms and one resource room, which will be used for therapy sessions, and the hosting of reading classes for children with special needs. Several areas in the school were also rehabilitated.
The school’s Principal, Ms. Dorothy Taylor, thanked JSIF and the EU for their assistance, noting that the agencies have shown that they are willing to “transform communities and enrich lives.”
Member of Parliament for North West St. Andrew, Derrick Smith (right) in discussions with Head of the Delegation for the European Union in Jamaica, Ambassador Marco Mazzochi Alemanni, before the start of a ceremony at the Maverley Primary and Junior High School on Wednesday (May 5), to officially hand over a new classroom block at the school.
Member of Parliament for North West St. Andrew, Mr. Derrick Smith, said he was “extraordinarily happy and proud” that the school has acquired the new block, which will enhance the educational capabilities of Maverley and adjoining communities.
He also lauded the residents for the part they played in ensuring that the project was completed, and in good time.
Deputy Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Mr. Clement Radcliffe, applauded the school for working to improve its educational capacity.
He said the Ministry was very pleased about the investment, which he described as significant and helping to fill a gap in our education structure.
The new classroom block at the Maverley Primary and Junior High School in North West St. Andrew, which was officially handed over Wednesday (May 5).
General Manager, Technical Services, JSIF, Mr. Omar Sweeney, said it was a pleasure for the JSIF to be in partnership with communities like Maverley, which he described as “strong communities that care about the sustainability and maintenance of their projects.”
“Maverly is only the beginning. This financial year, with the support of the European Union, 22 more projects like this, will be executed across Jamaica,” Mr. Sweeney said.
Head of the Delegation for the European Union in Jamaica, Ambassador Marco Mazzochi Alemanni, pointed out that the new classroom block would ease overcrowding in the school, where each class currently consists of approximately 40 students.
“With these classrooms now, instead of being 40, you are going to be about 30 in each classroom, so you will be more comfortable, (and) you will be able to study better,” he said.
He said that the new structure is expected to be outfitted with furniture before the next school term begins. He also said that the EU will provide some of the computers needed to equip the school’s computer laboratory.
The classroom expansion project is the first to be completed under PRP II, which is the second phase of a joint programme between the Government of Jamaica and the EU. It targets volatile and/or vulnerable communities and assists them to identify their infrastructural development needs to alleviate poverty.
The objective of the PRP II is to translate agreed community priorities into practical poverty reduction activities. It seeks to deepen and broaden community participation which, in turn, will help to instill a greater sense of ownership of sub-projects and contribute to their sustainability.
JSIF, an autonomous government entity established to mobilise and channel resources to underserved communities for the financing of small-scale community-based development projects, is the implementation agency for the initial PRP as well as PRP II.