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JIS News

Students of the Norman Manley High School in Kingston will be greeted with freshly painted walls and well groomed grounds when they return to school following the midterm break, as a result of the Labour Day efforts of the school community.
In keeping with the National Labour Day theme: ‘Jamaica’s Beauty – Our Duty’, teachers, students, ancillary staff and residents of the nearby Ricketts Avenue and Maxfield Park communities, today worked earnestly to paint the peripheral walls, and weed and clean the areas in and around the school.
Principal of the institution, Veronica Teape expressed her pleasure at the facelift, noting that the project was a continuation of work started by the school’s environmental club last year, to paint the walls in the blue, white and green school colours. “It is really a continuation of a project we had started before, which is really an effort to help the students to look at the school and the colours and as they remember the colours, to remember that they are to be disciplined,” she tells JIS News.
Mrs. Teape said the project was brought to National Security Minister and Member of Parliament for East Central St. Andrew, Dr. Peter Phillips, who agreed to complete the project. “They bought into it and we are grateful to Dr. Phillips and his team and to the community, our cadet and our Key Club group, who are working to beautify and clean up the areas surrounding the school. We really are very grateful,” Principal Teape expressed.
Meanwhile, in the Ricketts Avenue area, residents pooled their efforts to bush and clean the road leading into the area, in addition to painting and cleaning the communal sanitary conveniences.Dr. Peter Phillips, who was on hand said the effort was part of the general maintenance of the community, which is slated to benefit from major facelift under the Inner City Housing Project (ICHP) over the next few years.
“We are just giving it (sanitary conveniences) a fresh coat of painting and maintaining it generally. In fact, the whole community is going to be part of the Inner City Housing Project so what we are doing is keeping it in a functional condition, because the whole thing is going to be fundamentally redone in another year or so,” he told JIS News.
He further lauded the effort to improve the surroundings of the school, noting that the institution formed a major part of the community and was a source of pride to community members. “We have a responsibility; the school is an important part of the community and the training ground for the youth and the facelift will help in the lifting of the spirits of the community members and students of the school,” he stated.
Seventh grade student and cadet at the institution, Kemar Coke, giving his reasons for participating said, “first I am a cadet and I want to help to beautify my school and help in the Labour Day project”.
An annual May 23 observance, Labour Day was originally introduced to celebrate the activities of the trade union movement, but since 1972, it has been a day for community service, which includes repairing roads, painting schools, and planting trees and decorative shrubbery.