Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, yesterday (October 15), broke ground for the $6.2 million construction and expansion of an entrance gate and the re-establishment of ‘Holy Ground’, at the Jamaica College (JC) campus in Kingston.
The re-establishment of ‘Holy Ground’ is in honour and memory of the Jamaica College old boys who died in World War Two. The expansion of the entrance gate will allow for the creation of a dual road for entrance to the school and proper walkways for students.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding shows off his JC Old Boys hat from the goodies bag, he received at this afternoon’s (Oct 15) luncheon and ground breaking ceremony at Jamaica College. JC’s Principal Ruel Reid (r) and Joseph Matalon who chairs the JC reunion committee, are obviously amused.
At the ground-breaking ceremony, Chairman of the JC old Boys reunion committee, Joseph Matalon, explained that the old boys wanted to leave a permanent record of their re-union and to give a special gift to the school.
Mr. Golding, who was the guest speaker at the old boys reunion luncheon, yesterday afternoon, commended them for the role they have been playing in mentoring students at Jamaica College, which is also his alma mater. He also commended those who have been providing a support system to the school.
The Prime Minister said there was a time when Jamaica College was regarded as the school of the privileged. But, he noted, this began to change in the 1960’s and 1970’s when the whole world was going though a process of realigning and dealing with issues to do with rights and entitlement.
Welcome to Jamaica College.JC Head Boy Jahmar Clarke welcomes Prime Minister Bruce Golding to his alma mater where he was also the guest speaker at the JC Old boys reunion and ground breaking ceremony this afternoon (Oct 15). At centre is Rt. Rev Robert Thompson of the Anglican Church.
He said JC increasingly opened its door to the point where access was no different from access to any school. “The end result was that the entire education process suffered when, in an attempt to expand access with which no one could quarrel, not sufficient effort was made to sustain the quality, so as we opened the doors to ensure that all who could get accommodated could come. our standards suffered,” Mr. Golding said.
The Prime Minister said JC had been through some terrible experiences, but the school is trying to pick up and to see how it can rebuild its high standards. Mr. Golding said what will hasten this repair are the tremendous support system and the kind of leadership that understands where the school has to go.
Recalling some of the good old days at Jamaica College.Prime Minister Bruce Golding took time out after addressing this afternoon JC old boys reunion luncheon to chat with some of his school mates. He was taken around to meet and greet his old mates by JC Head Boy Jahmar Clarke (2nd l).
Mr. Golding said schools are challenged to deal with the wide cross section of students that they now take in, and this is not something the government can manage by itself. He said the government wants to get private sector interest to take over schools and provide the management of some of these institutions in much the same way as churches and other organisations have successfully done in the past. He pointed out that government is in the process of developing such a policy to address this new direction.
“I am particularly pleased with the kind of leadership being offered by the Principal of Jamaica College, Mr. Ruel Reid, so much so, that I have had to lean on him to be special adviser to Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness,” Mr. Golding told the Old Boys.