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Mineral Heights Primary taken off shift system

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Mineral Heights Primary School in Clarendon is the latest institution to be taken off the shift system by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

This move follows the addition of 12 new classrooms under the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF).

Education Minister, Ruel Reid, in his remarks at the official handover ceremony last Thursday, revealed that the nearby May Pen Primary School is next in line to be removed from shift.

He noted that infrastructure is needed to accommodate at least 1,500 students.

“It (May Pen Primary) is one of the largest primary schools in the Caribbean. Already, my technical officers are in the field doing the verification, so that we can plan for that expansion and development,” he informed.

He gave the Government's commitment to enable the transition of all schools to full day institutions.

“We still have primary and high schools that are on shift… so we have some urgency in which to expand our capacity to ensure everybody has an equal opportunity to attend school at the regular time and get the benefit of a full day programme,” Reid said.

JSIF managing director, Omar Sweeney, in his remarks, said that his organisation is committed to the advancement of education in Jamaica.

“In our 21 years at JSIF, education has been the key aspect of our investment in communities. In excess of 40 per cent of all the funds we've received have been invested in education, and that is estimated to be close to $8 billion to date,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, principal of Mineral Heights Primary, Lanzeford Howell, expressed gratitude for the new classrooms.

“Our students are now able to benefit from a whole-day education that provides them with the enriched activities that children are supposed to benefit from in primary school,” he said.

He noted that teachers can now focus more on enriching the lives of students. “We are in the era of promoting learning, critical thinking, and this facility that JSIF has contributed to the school will help us in terms of getting our children to function as 21st century learners,” Howell added.

Funded by the Caribbean Development Bank , the BNTF makes provision for projects geared towards improvement in education, transportation, enterprise development, water and sanitation services in member countries across the region.

Ten primary schools in seven parishes have benefited from upgrading through the BNTF at a cost of $642,497,824.28. From this investment, five of the 10 schools were able to transition from the shift system to full day school.

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