Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, has said that discussions are far advanced for the rationalization of classroom space, to make the teaching-learning situation more efficient in delivering quality education.
The Minister said his Ministry is seriously looking at rationalizing space, as while there are over-populated schools, others are operating well below capacity.
“In those schools that are below capacity, we still have to maintain the school, we still have the same overhead costs. Schools that are overpopulated and over capacity, the results are showing that they tend to perform just as well, if not better than schools that are under-populated,” he said
Minister of Education Hon. Andrew Holness (second left) is greeted by Senior Education Officer, Hillary Foster, as arrived at the Sudbury Primary School for a tour of schools in East Central St. James, accompanied by Minister of Tourism and Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (left) on Friday (October 15).Partly hidden at right is Principal of Sudbury Primary, Veronica White.
Mr. Holness made the observations while touring primary schools in East Central James, on Friday (October 15).
He said, however, that the Ministry would be moving with great caution, as the issues of relocation and rationalization were very sensitive.
“The Ministry will be very cautious and would only move where there is a clear case to be made for an increase in the service provision and economic saving. We don’t want it to be interpreted that we are moving wholesale to larger schools”, Mr. Holness told JIS News.
He said the move would only be made where the conditions permit, and there is excess capacity and the possibility of consolidation.
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness (second left) is assisted by Minister of Tourism and Member of Parliament for East Central St. James, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (second right) as he cuts the ribbon officially opening a new wing at the Somerton All-Age School in St. James on Friday (October 15). The Minister was on a tour of schools in the area. At left is Acting Principal of the school, Monica Bulgin.
“Where there are communities in rural areas and located in remote areas, clearly, education provisions have to be maintained; so, whether or not the school is large or small, as long as a population exist then we will have to provide. We are, therefore, being very strategic in how we will seek to rationalize education,” he pointed out.
Mr. Holness also participated in cutting the ribbon for the official opening of a new wing at the Somerton Primary School in St. James.