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JIS News

The Sanguinetti community in North West Clarendon is to benefit from a new basic school funded by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund at a cost of $7.8 million.
The signing of the contract for the project took place at the school/ community centre on October 26.On completion, there will be three classrooms, a Principal’s office, an expanded kitchen with appliances, a staff room, sanitary facilities, and a sick bay.
Speaking at the ceremony, Wilford ‘Billy’ Heaven, Chairman of the Fund, highlighted the importance of early childhood education.
“There is an overwhelming need in our country for quality affordable early childhood education and we must meet the need for high quality education for all children. It must be a priority, since it can be the single greatest difference between success and failure,” he said.
Mr. Heaven pointed out that some $80 million has been spent by his organization in Clarendon to fund the establishment of 57 basic schools.
He noted that in addition to the $80 million, CHASE has also spent $6 million on three Arts and Culture projects and $14 million on six health projects.The Chairman said that Sanguinetti Basic School was one of 324 schools across the island that CHASE has funded.
Yvette Wallace-Gordon, a teacher, told JIS News that she was very happy for the project.
“I’m very happy that they are going to start the construction of the new school. This has been in planning for a long time. I am very pleased that the CHASE Fund is interested in early childhood education and they see the need for the project,” she said.
Mrs. Wallace-Gordon commended Member of Parliament, Richard Azan, for making contact with the CHASE Fund and helping to initiate the project.
She explained that during Hurricane Ivan, the community centre, which also houses the basic school, was damaged.
In his remarks, Mr. Azan commended the CHASE Fund for carrying out extensive work in North West Clarendon.
“The CHASE Fund has helped to repair a number of schools in North West Clarendon, which were damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The assistance has ranged from $50,000 for some schools to $300,000 for others,” he said.
The school currently has about 80 students and three teachers. The project is expected to be finished in four months.