No more unbearable heat
MoBay councillor donates fans to Flanker Primary after a grandmother's plea
Marie Clarke (right) shares the moment when the fans are handed over to the Flanker Primary School. Also in the photo are (from left) chairman of Flanker Primary School Lennox Wallace; Principal Collette Barnes; Councillor Charles Sinclair; Chandan Sajnani, owner of Top Buy; and Keigon Elliot, past student of the institution.

A grandmother's appeal for classroom fans has brought some measure of relief to students at Flanker Primary School who were bearing the brunt of the heat associated with the island's weather conditions.

Marie Clarke, whose grandson attends the primary school, told the Jamaica Observer it was a joy on Thursday when 32 fans were handed over to Flanker Primary by the political representative after she told him of the discomfort students there were facing.

"I feel very happy and I thank those who reached out and helped, I thank them very much," she stated. "He told me that inside the classroom hot and his uniform, when I come to pick him up, wet and the other students were wet as well. I was concerned about his health and the health of other students because this is not a normal situation."

Recognising the challenges, she said she initially planned to make a contribution to try and remedy the situation, but decided to reach out to Councillor Charles Sinclair (Jamaica Labour Party, Montego Bay North East Division) to broaden the donation.

"I came devotion and I heard Miss [Collette] Barnes, the principal, was saying that the classrooms are hot. So I spoke to the class teacher and tell her that I would try and give a fan. But when I considered it would be one fan and the other students wouldn't have one, and I thought that wouldn't be fair," she explained.

"I alone could not afford all the fans so I reached out to Councillor [Charles] Sinclair and the school now has some fans," she added.

Councillor Sinclair said following the request, he reached out to other stakeholders and the situation quickly came together.

"Some of the fans I purchased them but when I heard from the principal and she said each classroom needed three fans, I recognise it would be a lot of fans," he explained during an address on Thursday.

He said through reaching out to friends and other individuals, he managed to get the 32 fans for the institution. He thanked Top Buy store, Ward Transportation, his cousin Dale Sinclair and school Chairman Lennox Wallace for their contribution in the effort.

"If is three fans per classroom, you're looking at covering 10 classrooms at a cost running in the region of close to $200,000 for all the fans," he remarked about the support provided.

He said the fans will contribute significantly to the welfare of the students who "were being distracted in their learning because of the unbearable heat".

He used the opportunity to call on the wider community to protect the investment being afforded to the school.

"We want to say to the community don't come into the school and take away any of the fans, do not take away any of the fans," he appealed.

"A safety wall was constructed around this school and it is there for a purpose because we have to sterilise the space for the education and learning of our children and the benefit of our children," he added.

Principal Collette Barnes, while quite grateful and happy at the donation, said the school would want even more support for the students as they deal with the heat situation.

"The fans will help somewhat but we've also spoken to Councillor Sinclair to give a word because we have heard the Ministry of Education spoke about some classrooms going on a pilot project to have air-conditioned rooms and we have made a request through that be and asked that Flankers Primary be put on that list for the pilot," she said, adding that the school's 557 students are better off following the donations.

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