JIS News

The May Day Basic School in Mandeville, which was recently upgraded by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), was officially handed over to the community on Thursday (Sept. 21).
Three-year old Justin Stewart had the privilege of unveiling the plaque at the handing-over ceremony, which was attended by students, teachers, parents and community members.
The project, was concluded in February at cost of more than $6.2 million, and involved the construction of a classroom with a movable partition, as well as sanitary facilities and a play ground equipped with slides and swings for the students. Additionally, the kitchen was renovated and repairs done to the roof and ceiling.
Of the total funding, some $5 million came from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the May Day Citizens Association provided approximately $1 million.
Principal of the institution, Winsome Barnaby, told JIS News that “today is really another milestone in the life of May Day Basic School. I am excited and thrilled about the great work that JSIF has done in this community,” adding that, “I am sure that not only the children will benefit but the wider community will benefit”.
Rev. Wayne Vernon, who was the guest speaker at the function, said “we as a community must recognize that our youth are depending on us, and if we recognize that, then we will try to put in place the kinds of things that will impact our young people”.
He reasoned that, if May Day can take on a project to build a basic school, I believe that if the citizens stretch their imagination and challenge the process a little bit, we can do other things that will cause other countries in the world and other communities to model us”.
JSIF Board Member, Carina Cockburn, said “I think . that we would all agree that if children are to learn to the best of their abilities they must be provided with the resources to do so, and if our nation is to survive it is very important that our children are properly educated.”
Little Tameka Ranger, a student of the school said: “I love JSIF because they build a new school for me and they are doing well”.
The May Day Basic School founded by Israel Pryce, began in the late 1950’s at the Canaan Church of God and was later moved to the community centre, its present location.
The institution’s 45 students and two teachers will benefit from the rehabilitation and expansion works.