Regional

Lethe Primary principal shines

BY HORACE HINES Observer West reporter

Thursday, December 05, 2013    

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LETHE, St James — PRINCIPAL of the Lethe All-Age School Anthony Murray was awarded the World Teachers' Day Leadership in Education Award last week, for his sterling contribution to the educational institution since he became principal, two years ago.

The prestigious award was presented during a ceremony held at the Wesley Methodist Church in St James, which was attended by stakeholders, including Minister of Education Rev Ronald Thwaites on Friday.

The award for Leadership in Education is intended for principals who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in education, particularly in the Quality Education Circle (QEC) in which they work. Selection is based on the LASCO/MOE Principal of the Year criteria.

The award is one of the functions staged by the Jamaica Teaching Council (JTC), in partnership with private sector sponsors, chief of which is the National Commercial Bank through the NCB Foundation, for educators on World Teachers' Day, celebrated on or around October 5.

Praises were heaped on Murray who hit the ground running after taking over the helm of the primary educational institution in 2011, and immediately established a Comprehensive School Improvement Plan Committee.

Over the two -year period, 16 new and 16 used computers, furniture and reading material were acquired to equip the school's computer lab which has resulted in a significant improvement in the students' mastery levels in reading at all grade levels.

Parents from the rustic community also benefit from the computer lab. In fact, Murray revealed that very soon HEART Trust/NTA will commence computer classes for parents at the school.

"I am pleased to say that the computers are not just used by students, but parents and the wider Lethe community. In fact in a few days from now we will commence HEART/NTA-certified adult computer classes," Murray disclosed.

Under Murray's stewardship also, a sanitation unit was established at the school, among other infrastructural developments.

But despite realising about 90 per cent of the goals earmarked in the school's improvement plans, Murray lamented the need for upgrade to the school's leaking roof and a proper drainage system on the compound.

"Ladies and gentlemen, as we celebrate our achievements and this prestigious award, today as a school we are still faced with a number of challenges.

The main one is the leaking roof of grade one and two block that constantly destroy the teachers' reading and learning resources whenever it rains. Additionally, the school yard is a mess whenever it rains heavily," he bemoaned.

Then too, the illustrious principal revealed plans to establish an early childhood facility at the Methodist Church in the community.

Rev Thwaites, who was among the persons to heap praises on Murray, promised to provide a teacher for the basic school.

"I have learnt just since coming here of Mr Murray's ambition to have Lethe become not only a primary school, but an infant and primary school. And I want to promise that the ministry of education will help you find a qualified teacher, Mr Murray, and I am hoping next year at this time you will have an infant school alongside your primary school because this is entirely consistent with government's policy," Rev Thwaites explained.

Meanwhile, Murray expressed gratitude to the Rotary Club of Montego Bay, USAID, the Universal Service Fund, Jamaica Social Investment Fund, Food for the Poor, Open Charitable Mission, Benson Memorial Methodist Church, Wesley Methodist Church, former MP Francis Tulloch, Councillor Homer Davis and parents for their support to the school.

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