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KINGSTON — The Primary Education Support Project in the Ministry of Education is set to receive a $403.97 million boost to carry out measures aimed at improving the performance, efficiency and equity of the country's primary education system.

The provision is contained in the 2011/12 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives.

Initiated in December 2000 through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of Jamaica, the project seeks to effectively implement the revised primary curriculum and the national assessment standards in all institutions, and provide 5,175 additional primary school spaces by replacing five schools, extending five others, and constructing two new institutions.

Physical achievements up to February 2011 include: completion of the rationalisation plan for the reform of teacher education and the strategic plan for the tertiary sector; training of 8,600 teachers in the delivery of the revised primary curriculum to grades one to six, and another 856 teachers trained in continuous assessment; while 3,000 grades one to three teachers, 32 master trainers, and 120 literacy specialist have been trained to deliver literacy 1-2-3 programmes in 797 primary and independent schools.

In addition, construction activities have been completed at the Gordon Town, Guys Hill, Chester Castle, Mayfield, Bromley and Fruitful Vale All-age Schools as well as the Christiana, Leased, Mansfield, Lucea and Sheffield Primary Schools.

Anticipated physical targets for the 2011/12 fiscal year include: construction of the Red Hills Primary School; completion of the tender process and commencement of construction at Hellshire Primary; and the delivery of furniture and closing of final accounts for the completed schools.

The project is expected to be completed by January 2013.

                                                                   

By LATONYA LINTON, JIS Reporter