JIS News

The Spot Valley High and John Rollins Success Primary schools in St. James, which were constructed under the government’s $3.5 billion North Western Schools Programme, were officially opened and dedicated yesterday (March 16).
Minister of State for Education and Youth, Senator Noel Monteith, who attended the dedication ceremonies, said that the opening of the new schools illustrated the commitment of the Ministry to providing additional spaces and educational resources for students in keeping with the education transformation thrust.
“This is the sort of learning environment that the transformation will bring to our nation and children. The first phase of the programme has strongly emphasized schools infrastructure and facilities as its primary focus. This is necessary as a school is not merely a place where curriculum is taught; it is a centre of excellence and cultural expression, a socializing agency, a place where community members meet each other and share ideas and an institution where our children will develop into responsible citizens,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Education State Minister informed that the Ministry was working on a strategic plan to ensure that school spaces were provided in a timely manner.
“The space rationalization report for both primary and secondary (schools) is complete and is being reviewed to ascertain the most effective and efficient way to implement the recommendations, bearing in mind our financial resources,” he said.
Noting that the institutions were strategically located in a thriving tourist mecca, the State Minister said he anticipated strong partnerships among hotels, parents and the wider community, for the success of the institutions.
Under the North Western Schools Programme, the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is constructing and upgrading 17 schools to provide some 16,000 classroom places for students in the parishes of Trelawny, St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland.
The Ministry and the UDC collaborated on the construction of 10 schools in St. Catherine in 2000, and the rehabilitation of more than 140 institutions across the island in the aftermath of Hurricane Gilbert in 1988.