JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Students at three primary-level schools in St. James and St. Elizabeth are to benefit from the installation of road infrastructure to ensure their safety.
  • The institutions are John Rollins Success Primary/ Barrett Town Primary in St. James, and Holland Primary in St. Elizabeth.
  • The schools are among four national projects for Labour Day on May 23. The others are Papine High School in St Andrew and Fair Prospect Primary School in Portland.

Students at three primary-level schools in St. James and St. Elizabeth are to benefit from the installation of road infrastructure to ensure their safety.

The institutions are John Rollins Success Primary/ Barrett Town Primary in St. James, and Holland Primary in St. Elizabeth.

The schools are among four national projects for Labour Day on May 23. The others are Papine High School in St Andrew and Fair Prospect Primary School in Portland.

Over in St. James, the National Labour Day Committee is collaborating with Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) JSIF to carry out the works under its ‘Safe Passages Project’.

Social Development Officer at the agency, Shunelle Nevers, told JIS News that the aim of the Social Passages Project is to ensure that children in communities benefiting under the Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP) are safe as they traverse to and from school.

“It’s about route safety and JSIF will be installing pedestrian crossings, traffic safety signs and guard rails,” she noted.

In addition, ‘children at play’, ‘pedestrian crossing’ and ‘stop’ signs will be installed in the vicinity of the schools.

ICDP aims to promote public safety and transformation through the delivery of basic infrastructure and social services. The project was implemented in May 2014 and is slated for completion in May 2020.

Ms. Nevers said that another aspect of the intervention “is to have positive imagery on the school grounds, so we will be collaborating with the Jamaica National Foundation and the United

Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to ensure that there are directional signs and sidewalk art to ensure that the children know exactly where to go”.

The Safe Passages Project is being undertaken in eight communities across the island and targets 15 schools and more than 4,000 children.

Ms. Nevers noted that under the project, roadways have been repaired and drainage put in place in the Barrett Town community.

She said that the work to be done on Labour Day will “ensure that now that infrastructure is in place, we make it safer for the children”.

Principal of John Rollins Success Primary School, Yvonne Miller-Wisdom, told JIS News that the school community is grateful to be included as part of the National Labour Day activities.

“Just last November, we had an accident where we lost students and a parent, and for them (National Labour Day Committee) to come in at this time to put in all the signage, traffic signals and other safety features, is very timely ,” she noted.

“I am most impressed with this gesture. The staff, the students, the parents and the school board; we are indeed grateful and we promise to be there on Labour Day to play our part in ensuring that this project is a reality,” Mrs. Miller-Wisdom said.

Acting Principal of the Barrett Town Primary School, Ventris Edwards, also expressed thanks.

“I am happy about the project, as it will enhance the safety of our students, and I think it is being done at the right time,” she noted.

Meanwhile, at Holland Bamboo Primary, Sponsorship Chairperson for the National Labour Day Planning Committee, Sandy Chung, told JIS News that “on Labour Day, we are going to be putting in rumble strips, pedestrian crossings, and a safe refuge (bus stop) for the children”.

“We are unable to put sidewalks on both sides of the road due to the nature of where the school is located, which is in Holland Bamboo Grove, which is a national treasure”, Ms. Chung said, noting that this would require taking out “a vast amount” of the bamboo.

She noted also that the school buildings would be painted and the driveway fixed.

Ms. Chung told JIS News that several private-sector entities have given donations to carry out the projects at the three primary schools.

For her part, Principal of Holland Primary, Simone Doctor, said that the project is welcome as “the safety of students on the road will be greatly enhanced”.

The Municipal Corporations are also instrumental in the planning and execution of activities at the community level.

Labour Day is organised by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport in collaboration with several ministries, departments and agencies, and community groups.

The theme for Labour Day 2019 is ‘Child Safety… it’s You, it’s Me, it’s all ah We.’