JIS News

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  • Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, is urging members of the Dias community in Western Hanover, to make the best use of the James-Patterson Infant School, to be constructed in the area.
  • Rev. Thwaites said the facility will play a major role in providing education and training opportunities for residents of Dias and adjoining communities.
  • Rev. Thwaites expressed pleasure that the James-Patterson Infant School is being built in “the heart of the countryside.”

Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, is urging members of the Dias community in Western Hanover, to make the best use of the James-Patterson Infant School, to be constructed in the area.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony in Dias, on November 4, for the construction of the school, in honour of former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P. J. Patterson, Rev. Thwaites said the facility will play a major role in providing education and training opportunities for residents of Dias and adjoining communities.

“The future of this place is not just for good early childhood education. We would love skills training to be added for the adults of the area as well, so that you can come here and use the computers and get the skills, because the world now demands that all of us have some skills,” the Minister added.

Rev. Thwaites expressed pleasure that the James-Patterson Infant School is being built in “the heart of the countryside.”

“Dias is in the heart of the countryside. You must never think less of yourselves because you come from a place like this. Can you imagine that this village of Dias brings forth a Prime Minister of Jamaica? The message I am trying to get across to the parents and to the community is – you don’t have to send the bright children to school in Lucea, in Montego Bay or Kingston. Good education must come right here,” he said.

Rev. Thwaites pointed out that the building of the James-Patterson Infant School is a manifestation of the importance that the Government has placed on education, which is the foundation for prosperity.

He reiterated that the Government has increased the budgetary allocation to the  early childhood  sector from 3 per cent  of the Ministry of Education’s annual budget to 14 per cent,  and expressed the hope that the  amount could be moved up to 20 per cent.

The Minister said that in addition to the increased funding, the Government has extended the breakfast and lunch feeding programme to assist 125,000 early childhood students across the island.

He also pointed out that the Ministry has doubled the number of trained teachers in the sector over the last three years.

“We hope to put a trained teacher in every early childhood institution – all 3,000 of them – by 2017/2018,” the Minister said.

The first phase of the James-Patterson Infant School is being funded at a cost of over $100 million by the Ministry, with contributions from several civic and corporate entities being earmarked for phase two.