Businesses urged to support ramps for schools project

Monday, May 21, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid, is calling on corporate entities to match the $50-million allocation by the Government to equip public schools with wheelchair ramps.

An initial 126 institutions, two in each of the island's 63 constituencies, are being targeted under the 'Ramps for Schools' project.

Work will get under way at the St Ann's Bay Infant School in St Ann on Labour Day, May 23, which is being observed under the theme 'Ramp it up… Fix it up'.

“We are committing $1.5 million per school to instal ramps for this year. A budget of $50 million has been earmarked from our ministry, and we are looking forward to corporate Jamaica to complement that with their $50 million,” he said.

Reid was bringing greetings at the National Workers' Week and Labour Day Thanksgiving Church Service held on Sunday at the Portmore Holiness Christian Church, Hellshire Main Road, Portmore.

Of the island's 971 public infant, primary and high schools and over 2,900 early-childhood institutions, only about 138 primary and high schools have been fitted with ramps.

Reid said that the 'Ramps for Schools' project will run for an initial one year after Labour Day and will continue until “all schools are fully equipped and provide enabled access to all our vulnerable population”.

“That means we have a lot of work to do because we have to get all of these institutions retrofitted, including bathroom facilities to ensure that they are fully accessible to our physically challenged,” he said.

“The aim is to target organisations to support the remaining schools,” he added.

Reid said the theme for Labour Day is timely, and lauded the decision taken by the National Labour Day Planning Committee to focus on the most vulnerable.

“There can be no invisible people if we are truly serious about furthering the development of workers' rights. Each and every one has to be equally protected under the law. Protection of the most vulnerable also means equal access to services and opportunities,” he said.

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