Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Elaine Foster Allen, has charged Jamaica’s youth to use their creative talents to develop solutions to the country’s various challenges.
“The opportunities are there for you to solve problems so as young people, I would want to challenge you to look at the gifts, the talents, the abilities you have to solve problems, to make solutions for the problems that we have here in Jamaica,” she stated.
The Permanent Secretary was addressing a ceremony held on Wednesday, February 27, at the Brown’s Town High School in St. Ann, where three high schools, which were refurbished by the Government of Jamaica in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at a cost of US$336,000, were officially handed over to the schools’ administrators.
The institutions, which had suffered extensive damage during the passage of Tropical Storm Nicole in 2010, are: Brown’s Town High; Port Antonio High, Portland; and Maggotty High in St. Elizabeth.
Education Specialist at USAID, Clair Spence, said the agency provided approximately US$250,000 for the refurbishing works, with the Education Ministry contributing the remainder in cash and kind.
She explained that the scope of work carried out will enable the schools to withstand up to a category four hurricane.
“What was noteworthy though, and I must commend the students and parents, is that the repairs were undertaken while students were still attending school, because we were not able to do it in the summer months,” Ms. Spence said.
She also lauded the contribution of the teachers and members of the school boards.
Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy, Dr. Raymond Brown, addressed the ceremony, while Mission Director at USAID, Denise A Herbol, presented representatives of the three schools with certificates to mark the completion of the rehabilitation.