Jamaica Pumps $533 Million In Building Of Additional New Classrooms

Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid disclosed at a recent press conference that the government in an attempt to reduce overcrowding and move away from a double shift school system has spent approximately $533 million to build 69 additional classrooms.

The Minister stated that in September 2017, the following schools were taken off the shift system Green Park Primary and Junior High, Kitson Town All-Age, Mandeville Primary, and Junior High, Villa Road Primary and Junior High; Maggotty High, John Mills Primary, Junior High and Infant, as well as Pembroke Hall Primary.

Additionally, he said Mineral Heights Primary and Port Henderson Primary Schools came off the system in 2018 while Exchange All-Age, Cedric Titus High, Papine High, and Muschette High are slated to do so soon. Only 38 institutions remain on the shift system.

Moreover, the Minister stated that the government has plans in place for the upgrading of some schools to full high schools status.

“Within that list, works have commenced at Nain, New Forest, and Aberdeen, and funds have been mobilized for completion,” he further noted.

The Minister also advised that similar work has been concluded at Stony Hill High School.

Additionally, Senator Reid said a technical planning team has completed preliminary activities at Discovery Bay All-Age, which is also being converted to a high school.

“Once finalized, a design will be completed and contracting will be done thereafter. The desired timeline for this upgrade is to have the first phase completed for the start of the new [2019/20] school year,” he said.

Senator Reid said $12.3 million was also spent to significantly improve the sewerage system at Glen Stuart Primary School.

He also disclosed that 33 ramps have been built in schools to improve access for physically challenged students.

Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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