MoBay to house diagnostic centre
Ground was broken on Wednesday for the construction of an infant school and diagnostic centre at Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College in St James. Construction of the facility has begun and is scheduled to be completed within nine months.
The facility is being constructed under an MOU signed last year between Food For the Poor (FFP) and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. The National Education Trust is managing the project.
The diagnostic centre will include three diagnostic classrooms with observation rooms, an administrative area, a computer laboratory/library, a meeting/consultation room, a diagnostic play area, and restroom facilities for staff and students.
The infant school will consist of two classrooms with restrooms for the infants, an administrative area, staffroom and associated toilet facilities.
Funding for the project is being provided by the Government of Jamaica at a cost of $62 million. FFP will be donating tiles for sections, as well as paint. The Carpenters Union of Ontario donated CAN$50,000 through PACE Canada and this will be used to equip the facility upon completion.
Speaking at the ground -breaking ceremony, director of donor and partner relations at the National Education Trust Latoya Harris noted that “the mandate of the National Education Trust is to expand investments in education through strategic partnerships”.
“This facility will be a true example of partners coming together for the development of education,” she said.
The complex will be the first of its kind in the western end of the country and will go a far way in helping to diagnose children with special needs. It should help to ease the pressure on the only other similar centre in the country at the Mico University College.
Harris appealed for the community to take ownership of the facility and make the most of it.
“Protect it, look after it, and even more importantly, make full use of its services because unless we are able to effectively identify and treat our children with special needs, many more will continue to be left by the wayside,” she appealed.