Approximately 95 children in the Waterhouse community are benefiting from a new school building, which was handed over to the Maranatha Christian Church by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), on March 15.
The Maranatha Ministries Basic School was constructed at a cost of $44.5 million, with financial support from the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), a project of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
Built to meet the requirements of the Early Childhood Commission, the school comprises five standard size classrooms, bathroom facilities for teachers and students, kitchen, administrative area, staff room and sick bay. Other amenities include a drinking fountain, play area, water storage tanks and perimeter fencing.
Special Adviser to the Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Kenyama Brown, who addressed the handing over ceremony on behalf of Portfolio Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, in whose constituency the school is located, said the government is committed to investing in education.
“As adults, one of our main responsibilities is to give our children the right educational start in a safe and beautiful environment, which promotes learning,” he said.
He argued that access to education for all children is vital, not only to their own growth and development, but also for the development of the country and the larger global society.
General Manager, Infrastructure and Civil Works, at JSIF, Andrew Neita, said Waterhouse is one of the communities targeted by JSIF for improved infrastructural and social services.
He informed that the new school building has solved the overcrowding and shared space issues that have plagued the school for many years.
He commended the Maranatha Christian Church for establishing the basic school and providing support for its development. Mr. Neita encouraged the teachers, students and community members to take good care of the facilities.
Principal of the school, Marsha McIntosh, said the school “is big on quality” and will continue to provide students with the highest standard of education. She noted that all six teachers at the school are trained and have attained Level II certification in early childhood education development and care.
She informed that four teachers are now completing their diploma in education and one has post-graduate qualifications.
The school has also received the best results in the readiness test in the cluster of basic schools in the area.
BY Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter