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St. James High School in Montego Bay has received a $5 million donation from the Montego-bay based Wards Power Tools and Supplies Limited to assist with development projects at the institution.
The funds will go towards the construction of a computer laboratory; supporting the industrial arts programme for which the company has already contributed $250,000; and covering scholarships to the most outstanding male and female student, and a financial award to the most outstanding teacher.
The endowment, covering a period of five years at $1 million annually, will also strengthen the sports programme, in particular football.
Principal of Wards Power Tools and Supplies, Howard Ward, in making the presentation on the school grounds yesterday (April 28), said that the contribution would assist in putting programmes in place to enhance the performance of students, most of whom were from depressed communities.
“This past academic year has seen the emergence of the institution, manifested not only in the classroom, but also on the playing fields. A number of students have attained passes in five or more Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) subjects and one past student attained passes in eight subjects, and is now at sixth form in another institution. This institution has also won the Ben Francis Trophy and the DaCosta Cup Football competition, which is an indication of rural school boy supremacy,” Mr. Ward pointed out.
Stating that the contribution was just a “drop in the bucket,” in terms of addressing the needs of the institution, he urged other businesses to follow suit in assisting the school. “Let’s support these students, who dare to aspire for a better quality of life through higher education,” he urged.
Delivering the main address, Senior Advisor/Consultant to the Minister of Education, Alphansus Davis, said that the Ministry recognised the importance of partnerships in accelerating growth and improving social conditions.
He thanked Mr. Ward, and wife, Veronica, “for engaging in the kind of public-private partnership that is required to move our country forward. You are unsung heroes as you have chosen to use your position and the resources at your disposal, to improve education. Thank you for making the correct socially responsible choice.”

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