JIS News

Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Youth, Senator Noel Monteith has said that space rationalization studies of primary and secondary schools have been completed, and that detailed implementation planning would commence shortly.
“Estimates from these space rationalization studies indicate that over $100 billion will be required to deliver a number of system changes that are essential for achievement of the educational transformation goals,” he noted.
Senator Monteith was speaking at the handing over of a new classroom block at Charlemont High School in North Western St. Catherine on June 15. The two-storey building was constructed at a cost of $18 million and includes administrative offices, four classrooms and sanitary conveniences. In addition, a three-classroom block was annexed to an existing building. These two blocks provide a combined total of 200 new spaces for students. The State Minister pointed out that the transformation goals include: rationalization of school types, to create only two school categories – Primary and Secondary; the elimination of the shift system; reduction of class sizes; and the reduction of school sizes.
Senator Monteith said that additional spaces being provided at schools would go a far way to alleviate the age old problem of shortage of adequate spaces for the children.
“Since 2005, some 3,695 spaces have been provided at a cost of more than $197 million. It is further expected that within the next three years another 13,535 spaces will be provided through the construction, upgrading and expansion of several schools,” he said. Senator Monteith challenged the students, teachers and parents to ensure that the facilities are protected at the school.
“It is most unfortunate to see, after spending millions of dollars to put up these buildings, people come in and try to destroy what has been built,” he said.
“Students must play a significant role in ensuring that schools are kept clean, walls are not defaced and garbage is disposed of properly,” he added.
Senator Monteith said he was confident that the leadership of Charlemont would continue the “excellent job it has been doing by building on the work of past administrators over the 29-year history of this noble institution”.
Also attending the ceremony was Member of Parliament for the area, Bobby Pickersgill.

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