Japanese gov’t donates classrooms, fence to Orange Bay Primary

Monday, June 20, 2016

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ORANGE BAY, Portland — Students of Orange Bay Primary are now the beneficiaries of two new classrooms and a perimeter fence courtesy of the Japanese Government.

Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica Masanori Nakano said approximately $11.5 million in funding was made available through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects to construct the facilities, which were officially handed over last Thursday.

"I am proud to note that the grant funding was used to improve the school facilities by way of constructing two classrooms as well as erecting a chain link perimeter fencing," he said, adding that his government was happy to provide a comfortable learning and teaching environment for the students and teachers.

Minister of Education Senator Ruel Reid, in addressing the official handing-over ceremony, expressed gratitude to the people and Government of Japan for their timely support to Jamaica and particularly to education.

"The task force in education research indicates that 50 per cent of our schools are in disrepair and many have further deteriorated and we are very grateful that Japan has risen to the occasion and has been able to provide this kind of support," Reid said. "I would not have that kind of money for so many schools in such a short space of time."

The ministry, Reid said, is committed to the task of upgrading facilities in the region with state-of-the-art facilities.

The regional office, he added, has a group of professionals who are working very hard to lift the standard of education in a parish with the largest number of schools with very small student population.

"When we look at the GSAT (Grade Six Achievement Test) results we have far less students who are ready for formal education," he said.

Member of Parliament for Portand Westernand Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Daryl Vaz commended the Japanese Government for its donation.

"This is a tangible donation and fits in well with Government’s economic growth agenda," he said. "I am extremely grateful that the Japanese government has responded to the call to improve the existing facilities in these schools in the constituency."

Custos Rotulorum of Portland Major Lincoln Thaxter said, "the generous contribution of monetary assistance that resulted in the successful completion of the classrooms and the fencing of the compound has now resulted in increased capacity at Orange Bay Primary school which has made the environment more conducive to increased learning."

Past student and Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Wayne McKenzie, also commended the Japanese for the expansion of the facility.

He also commended the principal and the staff for their hard work in keeping the institution open.

"...the school was on the verge of closure and has now become the saviour for the students of Black Hill school that has been closed. It is a testimony in this community for the work being done and the confidence shown," McKenzie said.

— Everard Owen




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