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  • The Ministry of Education is putting measures in place to ensure that schools have adequate supply of water for the start of the new academic year in September.
  • The National Water Commission (NWC) will be providing the commodity to schools in areas most affected by the current drought conditions, particularly those in regions one and six, comprising institutions in Kingston and St. Andrew, and those in St. Catherine and Clarendon, respectively.
  • Minister Thwaites was speaking during Wednesday’s (August 19) session of the 51st annual conference of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), now underway at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay.

The Ministry of Education is putting measures in place to ensure that schools have adequate supply of water for the start of the new academic year in September.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Rev Ronald Thwaites, informed that the National Water Commission (NWC) will be providing the commodity to schools in areas most affected by the current drought conditions, particularly those in regions one and six, comprising institutions in Kingston and St. Andrew, and those in St. Catherine and Clarendon, respectively.

“We have made arrangements with the National Water Commission to provide water at those schools, which have tanks. I am informed that the Ministry of Education has an allotment for the purchase of tanks for those schools, which are going to need them but do not now have water storage,” he said.

Minister Thwaites was speaking during Wednesday’s (August 19) session of the 51st annual conference of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), now underway at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay.

He advised school administrators to indicate their needs to the Ministry and the NWC. “We are going to have to buy water for many schools and I see that looming on the horizon. Please report emergencies regarding water shortages before they actually become critical,” he urged.

He informed that a hotline has been established to facilitate schools and the telephone number as well as the NWC personnel assigned to assist the institutions will be published within the next week.

Minister Thwaites encouraged parents to assist where possible with the provision of water to the institutions their children attend, and also give their children drinking water to take to school.

He also advised schools to include, as part of their emergency management measures, the teaching of students on the effects of climate change, enduring droughts, and the prudent use of the scarce commodity.

Minister Thwaites, in the meantime, congratulated principal of the Four Paths Primary and Junior High School in Clarendon, Norman Allen, who was installed as the new JTA President, during Monday night’s (Aug.17) session of the conference.

He also commended the teachers on their acceptance of the government’s wage offer.

“I must say how pleased I am, at the amicable manner in which the leadership of the JTA approached the matter, without rancour and major disruption to the school system, always mindful of the nation’s students,” he said.