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Education ministry seeking more classroom space for Mandeville

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 | 2:20 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Education is holding discussions with at least two private institutions to provide additional secondary-level classroom places in Mandeville, Manchester.

This is expected to help in providing some of the approximately 6,000 new secondary school places, which are needed for Mandeville and its environs.

Education minister Ronald Thwaites gave details of the discussions while addressing Northern Caribbean University’s colloquium at its main campus in the parish on Monday.

Thwaites said a private facility has volunteered to serve as a “grant-in-aid institution”, and added that his ministry was proceeding with the offer “as quickly as possible”.

Additionally, Thwaites said the Ministry has approached another privately owned institution outside Mandeville to consider establishing a campus in Mandeville.

Jamaica’s secondary education system needs between 80,000 and 90,000 new secondary places to replace the shift system currently being used in some high schools to accommodate their large student population, Thwaites said.

He added that any contribution private schools can make would be deemed “vital and indispensable.”

“The State cannot afford the money to build those spaces. But, we must end the shift system, because it is counter-productive (and) it is leaving our children vulnerable to all kinds of external (vagaries); and it is also compromising education. We are open to all kinds of initiatives in this regard,” he argued.

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