The new St. Agnes Basic School in Portland, built through partnership between the Culture, Health, Arts, Science and Education (CHASE) Fund and the Buff Bay Roman Catholic Church, was officially opened on Tuesday (Dec. 7).
The $20 million building, located on the church lands, replaces a previous structure, which served the community for many years, but had become inadequate for existing needs.
Chief Executive Officer of the CHASE Fund, Billy Heaven, addressing the official opening ceremony for the St. Agnes Basic School in Buff Bay, Portland on Tuesday (Dec. 7).
The school, which has been in operation since September, boasts three classrooms, a staff room, a sick bay, a meeting room, bathroom and a playing area for students.
Addressing the function, Chief Executive Officer of the CHASE Fund, Billy Heaven, said the Fund is happy to be involved in the project and implored the community to take care of the facility.
In giving a breakdown of the investment of the CHASE Fund in early childhood education, he said the organisation has so far completed 454 projects across the country at a cost of some $1.5 billion, with 29 projects undertaken in Portland at a sum of $93.3 million.
CHASE’s early childhood education programme include the building and equipping of basic schools, day care centres and resource centres, the provision of support for the development and manufacturing of early childhood material to enhance the cognitive development of children, and assisting the undertaking of research for the development of early childhood education programmes.
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kingston the Most Reverend Donald Reece, thanked CHASE for the kind gesture in funding the construction of the school. He urged the members of the Buff Bay community to play their part by taking care of the facility.
The new St. Agnes Basic School in Buff Bay, Portland, which was officially opened on Tuesday (Dec. 7). The institution was built through partnership between the Roman Catholic Church and the CHASE Fund.
He said the delivery of early childhood was of critical importance particularly in the context of today’s society in which parents are failing to carry out their proper functions and responsibilities in the upbringing of children
Noting that early childhood education can instill positive attitudes and values in children because of the grooming and training it provides early in their life, Rev. Reece said every effort should be made to fully utilise that opportunity to turn the tide of indiscipline and anti-social behavior plaguing the society.