Students and staff of the Allman Town Basic School in Central Kingston, are benefitting from upgraded and better equipped facilities, following the official handing over of the rehabilitated institution, at a ceremony on Wednesday, January 30.
The project was funded at a cost of $45.1 million by the European Union (EU), under its Poverty Reduction Programme II (PRP), which is being implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).
Work included the construction of two new classrooms, a sickbay, an administrative area, playground, and a link-way between the classroom block and bathrooms.
The existing bathroom and classroom block were also rehabilitated, in addition to a new driveway and parking area, while the sewer system was upgraded and a ramp constructed. The school also received much needed equipment.
Education Minister, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, who welcomed the improved facilities, challenged the staff, parents and the community to instill good values in the students and to provide encouragement and nurturing.
He also urged the adjoining church, St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, as a vital part of the community, to take an interest in the school by encouraging its members to provide assistance to students in their academic and social endeavours.
Meanwhile, JSIF’s Managing Director, Scarlette Gillings, noted that the project, which was completed in collaboration with the school Board and the Parent Teachers Association (PTA), aimed to provide well equipped areas intended to boost both academic and personal development for the students.
“The safe environment that we have partnered to produce should go a long way in creating valued experience for the children and families using these facilities…Make the best use of these facilities,” she urged.
For his part, Head of Operations of the EU in Jamaica, Jesus Orús Bàguena, said early childhood education and care is the basis for successful lifelong learning, social integration, personal development, and employability.
“These are some of the reasons why the EU works in collaboration with the Government of Jamaica to provide support to projects such as these under our poverty reduction programme,” he said.
Some $3.1 billion has been allocated by the EU for the PRP, with $2.1 billion of this already translated into programmes impacting communities across several parishes.