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Ministry of Education allocates over $12-million to Little London High

…money to be used to finish building of a six-classroom block

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer West writer

Thursday, January 10, 2019

LITTLE LONDON, Westmoreland — The Ministry of Education has committed $13-million to the Little London High School to assist with the completion of a well needed six-classroom-building block at the educational facility.

The announcement was made by Education Minister, Senator Ruel Reid shortly after a tour of the facility on Tuesday last.

Senator Reid said the ministry's commitment is to assist the school in completing the $18-million project it started months ago, in time for the start of the 2019/2020 academic year.

Principal of the school Garfield James told the Observer West that the project, which is 35 per cent complete, was started last August with funds “raised internally”.

The school currently has a population of 869 students, and the six classrooms, on completion, will accommodate an additional 210 students.

“We are so grateful for the visit of Senator Ruel Reid who did an extensive tour of the campus. Upon his tour, he did make a number of promises, one of which is to complete the six classrooms that were started by the school to alleviate some space issues, as it relates to some programmes being run by the school,” said James.

He noted that the school currently offers the Career Advancement Programme (CAP), an associate degree in tourism and hospitality in collaboration with the Western Hospitality Institute and other technical programmes.

In addition to the classroom block, the minister also promised to provide metal detectors as well as to assist student-uniform groups such as the Cadet Corps and the scouts whose members are not able to afford uniforms.

“They are going to be getting in short order a walk-through scanner, help for their uniform groups that we are also promoting, because we want both our young men and women to participate in these groups. We believe that these groups also can aid in the socialisation of our young people to counter some of the deficits at home. And so, uniform groups are also a very good way to help these youngsters to socialise along the correct path,” Senator Reid told reporters.

Vice-principal of the school, Terry James, said the detectors are to assist the school with safety and security. She said the school had a few metal detectors, but they became dysfunctional over time.

Apart from the Little London school, the minister also visited the Grange Hill High School, Petersfield High School and Western Hospitality Institute, which is located in Negril.

And while Grange Hill did not get any basket of goodies, the minister took the time to congratulate the school which has seen academic improvements.

He also highlighted the importance of getting a solid education and the need to stay away from crime, including scamming.

The community of Grange Hill, where the school is located, has seen an increase in criminal activities in recent years.

According to Senator Reid, his visit to the Westmoreland schools on Tuesday was “to be on the ground to understand the dynamics and to give guidance and important support as we work together to ensure that we have managed institutions and that our children collectively are getting the highest quality education opportunities”.