BY MARK CUMMINGS Editor-at-Large, Western Bureau email@example.com
MONTEGO BAY, St James — THE Cornwall College Old Boys' Association (CCOBA) plans to reintroduce boarding for students next year, at the 116-year-old all-boys institution.
"This is something that is definitely on the agenda and hopefully within the next year, the programme will start," Gerald Chambers, president of the Cornwall Old Boys' Association- Montego Bay Chapter, told the Observer West.
"We found that there are numerous boys who need some amount of parental control and we think that with strict leadership under a boarding system there can be a turnaround."
Additionally, Chambers said, there are several old boys who want their sons to attend Cornwall College, but are finding it difficult to get accommodation for them in the parish of St James, where the school is located.
Chambers further explained that the discipline of organised living helps students in terms of their leadership skills and that the presence of the boarders on the campus will assist with the general discipline at the school.
Cornwall College is not widely known to have disciplinary problems, but over the last several years there have been a few cases of indiscipline at the institution.
And studies have showed broadly that students at boarding schools, performed better than those who attend some day schools.
Said to be among the island's oldest learning institutions in western Jamaica, Cornwall College began boarding students in the 1920s. But the practice ceased sometime during the early 1980s due mainly to financial challenges.
President of the Cornwall College Old Boys' Association-Tampa Chapter Cecil Aird told the Observer West that the management of the school will not be responsible for the day-to-day running of the boarding house, when the practice is reinstated, as was the case previously.
A team of professionals, he stressed, will be charged to manage the facility.
And President of the Parent Teachers' Association Roy Ten Fah said his association is "fully supportive" of the proposal and will be working assiduously with other stakeholders to make boarding a reality.
He told the Observer West that already plans are being finalised to refurbish the old boarding house at the school to accommodate roughly 100 students.
"Just recently a group of stakeholders toured the old boarding house in an effort to determine what was needed to be done to get the building ready," said Ten Fah.
Following the tour, he said, it was decided that repairs will have to be undertaken on the roof, windows and doors of the facility.
He added that the bathroom facilities, as well as electrical works will also have to be addressed.
He stressed, however, that his association is committed to ensuring that boarding returns to the school at the start of the next school year in September.
"We are committed to it because we are convinced that it will serve a useful purpose especially in this socio-economic climate. It will certainly make a difference to the boys," he argued.