JIS News

The community of Stepney in St. Ann now has a new basic school, which was constructed through funding from the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund.
The $21.2 million project, which was officially handed over yesterday (June 21), boasts three spacious classrooms, a computer room, cafeteria, girls’ and boys’ bathrooms, staff room, and a play area equipped with monkey bars, swings, and slides. Perimeter fencing provides security for staff and students.
Chief Executive Officer of the CHASE Fund, Billy Heaven, in his remarks at the handing over ceremony, stated that the organisation is committed to the building and upgrading of schools and resource centres, and providing the necessary support to “radically improve the quality and delivery of education in early childhood.”
This mission, he said, is in recognition of the importance of education to personal success and the growth and development of the country.
As such, he informed, scholarships are being provided for the training of early childhood practitioners, in addition to funding for research and development of resource materials, health screenings in basic school children, and support for nutrition programmes.
Senior Education Officer for the Ministry of Education’s Region three, Julia English, in her remarks, thanked CHASE for its invaluable contribution towards the construction of the Stepney Basic School and urged the community to take care of the facility.
“We need every one of you to be vigilant, to watch over and care for what we have. Without your co-operation and your help, they will only deteriorate, but with your co-operation we will be able to go places,” she said.
Principal of the School, Sylvia Mitchell, expressed gratitude for the new building. She told JIS News that the school was housed at the Stepney Baptist Church for some 13 years, but had outgrown the space.
“I am more than happy for this new structure,” she said, while thanking the church for accommodating the school for so many years.
Resident of Stepney District, Nordia Francis, said that she too was happy for the new school.
“I want to thank the CHASE Fund for building this convenient structure. I am sure that this new structure will enhance the teaching and learning situation there,” she told JIS News.

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