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Schools in five parishes remain closed

Friday, October 26, 2012    

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THE Ministry of Education has ordered schools in the eastern section of the island — which took a battering from Hurricane Sandy on Wednesday — to remain closed today.

In a news release yesterday, the ministry said schools in Kingston, St Andrew, St Mary, Portland, and St Thomas should not reopen until Monday, October 29. The ministry said its decision was based on advice from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), as well as preliminary assessments of the institutions.

“All schools in the other parishes should resume normal operations (today) October 26, once it is safe to do so, and the schools are not being used as shelters,” the release said.

Notwithstanding, the ministry is advising parents “to assess the local situation and ensure that children will have an easy passage to and from school”.

Speaking during a a tour of Donald Quarrie High School in Harbour View yesterday, Education Minister Rev Ronald Thwaites urged principals to “get their schools in shape” so they can reopen in the shortest possible time.

At Donald Quarrie, Hurricane Sandy crashed huge waves into the Industrial and visual arts block. The floor of the building was covered with debris and the newly constructed perimeter fencing was blown down, the Jamaica Information Service reported.

The University of the West Indies, Mona, meanwhile, will resume normal operations today.

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