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Some 265 early childhood institutions in St. Catherine have been targetted for improvements under a special initiative being spearheaded by that parish’s branch of the Social Development Commission (SDC).
The programme, which the SDC is implementing in collaboration with several donor agencies, is intended to improve the quality of early childhood institutions in Linstead, Old Harbour, Portmore and Spanish Town, among other areas.
Teachers from 168 of the institutions were presented with certificates, which will enable them to procure supplies, including chairs, desks, reading materials and cleaning agents, which have been supplied by donor agencies, for their institutions, during a handing over ceremony at the SDC’s office in Spanish Town on August 13. Representatives of the remaining institutions will receive their certificates next week
Addressing the ceremony, guest speaker, Spanish Town’s Mayor, His Excellency Dr. Andrew Wheatley, commended the SDC’s initiative in partnering with other agencies in an effort to enhance the development and welfare of infants in the parish.
“They have taken the lead by putting together this initiative to seek sponsorship to assist a number of schools to ensure that, come Monday morning in September when school reopens,… the faces of some of our children will have a little bigger smile,” he noted
In thanking the various sponsors and Government agencies contributing to the programme, Dr. Wheatley lamented that each year proved more challenging for parents “to put things in place to ensure that their children get the opportunity (at education) that they deserve.”
“I do hope that the children, the parents and the teachers would appreciate these donations by ensuring that they are there, not only for the month of September, but throughout the school year and beyond,” the Mayor implored.
He also expressed the hope that the initiative will be replicated in other parishes.
“I am sure that after today’s function, that the other Social Development Commission offices in other parishes would like to emulate the St. Catherine office, and this is one project that I believe must be adapted in the other regions,” Dr. Wheatley contended.

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