JIS News

The Ministry of Education says it will be providing more than 3,000 new spaces at the secondary, primary and infant school levels for the upcoming academic year.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Audrey Sewell also informed that for the 2010/2011 academic year, Steer Town High School will be opened as a Centre of Excellence on the campus of the newly constructed Mansfield Primary School in St. Ann, while work continues to complete the structure at Steer Town.
“We have placed approximately 500 students there. They were placed from the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) and the Grade Nine Achievement Test (GNAT),” she told journalists.
“We are hoping that some time early next year, Steer Town High will be ready and that institution will provide 1,200 additional high school places,” Mrs. Sewell added.
The Permanent Secretary was speaking to journalists on September 1, at a press conference at the Ministry, to address back-to-school issues.
She also informed that some 120 new places will be provided at the Foga Road High School in Clarendon, while Lucea Primary School in Hanover was expanded to accommodate 630 additional students.
“Fruitful Vale Primary in Portland, which is a replacement school (will accommodate) 525 new places and Sheffield Primary School in Westmoreland, which is also a replacement school, should provide 525 places,” Mrs. Sewell said, adding that Bellefield Primary School in Manchester will provide 840 spaces.
She said it is expected that in the first term of the new academic year, construction will begin on the Red Hills Primary School in St. Andrew, and that tenders have been invited to pre-qualify contractors for the construction of two high schools, one in Mandeville, Manchester (900 spaces) and the other in Cedar Grove, in St. Catherine (1,200) spaces. “Construction is expected to start in the new financial year, 2011/2012,” she informed.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary said under the Enhancement of Basic Schools Project, a new basic school, providing some 75 new places and a resource centre, has been completed in Nain, St. Elizabeth.
“We have received Cabinet’s approval for the commencement of refurbishing for the St. Francis Infant School. Cabinet has also approved the use of US$7.3 million grant funding from the Chinese Government and we intend to use those funds this year for the construction and refurbishing of early childhood institutions,” she said.

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