Two New Early Childhood Institutions to be Opened by September


Two of the five new early childhood institutions being constructed under the North Western Jamaica Schools Project will be opened for the September 2005 school year.
The schools are being built at a cost of $230 million, with the remaining three scheduled for completion by year-end.
The five schools are being constructed in the north western section of the island in Lucea, Hopewell, Falmouth, Rosemount and Green Pond.
Lauriston Wilson, Director of Technical Services in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, told JIS News that the institutions at Green Pond and Falmouth will be ready for opening by this September.
“To date, we are near the completion of the Green Pond Basic School, which is above Montego Bay. We are to build one at Providence Heights on a National Housing Trust (NHT) site, following final approval. At Hague, just outside of Falmouth, we are constructing a school beside the Hague showground,” he said.
“We have one at Hopewell where we had a difficulty acquiring or identifying sites. However, we have since taken a decision to construct it beside the Bethel Primary and Junior High School on lands we have identified there,” he added.
The fifth school in Lucea, he said, would be built on lands acquired from the Parish Council and construction would begin soon.
“The construction period for these schools can vary from six to eight months, so we expect to finish construction by the end of this year,” he said.Mr. Wilson pointed out that each school is designed with 10 classrooms, with a teacher-pupil ratio of 1:30, so they are meant to accommodate 300 students.
The schools are equipped with all the essential facilities, including bathrooms, which are attached to the classrooms to ensure proper control by the teachers. An administrative area and a kitchen are also included.
“The design has been changed from time to time to meet the demands of the users. At one point, we had placed the bathrooms in a specific area and then we were told that the teachers could not properly control the young ones, so we changed the designs to attach bathrooms to the classrooms,” he said.
A total of 17 new schools are being constructed in western Jamaica under the $3.5 billion school-building project. The project includes the five early childhood institutions, four primary schools and seven high schools, in addition to the Frome Technical replacement.

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