Early Childhood Education in St. Mary will get a major boost this year, with the construction of a new institution in the town of Islington.
General Manager for Technical Services at the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Owen Sweeny (right), in discussions with Member of Parliament for Western St.Mary, Dr. Morais Guy, at the site for the construction of the new Islington Early Childhood Institution, after the contract signing ceremony for the project on Thursday (March 11).
The Islington Early Childhood Institution will be constructed at a cost of approximately $64 million, of which $62 million will be provided by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), and $2 million from members of the community.
The contract was signed at a ceremony at the Douglas Clarke Community Centre, Islington, on Thursday (March 11). Among those in attendance were officers of the JSIF, political representative and residents of Islington.
The project is expected to be completed within six months, and the work will include construction of four classrooms, a kitchen, a sick bay, a principal’s office, a teachers’ rest area, a store room, sanitary facilities, an enclosed court yard, a multipurpose room and a gazebo.
It will replace the Islington Basic School, the Early Childhood institution that has been serving the community since 1938.
Addressing the function General Manager of Technical Services at the JSIF, Omar Sweeny, said that the ceremony was the embodiment of the commitment to education, demonstrated by participants in that event.
He said that providing for the Early Childhood Education Sector is one of the greatest responsibilities of the nation, as it continues to successfully confront the challenge of effecting the necessary improvement to the education sector.
Noting that JSIF is fully committed to honouring the responsibility of improving the education system, and meet the challenge of providing world class basic and primary school facilities, he asserted that education is the surest strategic investment in ensuring lifelong learning, employability and personal growth.
Mr. Sweeny also emphasised that the community contribution was highly appreciated, as it has made it possible for employment in such areas as security, landscaping, storage and the cleaning up of the site.
Guest Speaker was Dr. Millard Davis Pastor of the Kyles Temple in Islington, who commended JSIF and members of the community for the partnership they have forged in implementing the project.
Other speakers included: Member of Parliament for Central St. Mary,
Dr. Morais Guy; Education Officer, Sonia Hamilton; Chairman of the St. Mary Early Childhood Board, Eyon Palmer; and Councillor Dave Morris.