Teachers and pupils at Patrick Town Primary and Nursery School in Manchester will benefit from additional classrooms when the new school year begins in September, after the completion of a new building at the institution.
The facility, which was built at a cost of $ 32 million with funding from the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education Fund (CHASE), is expected to significantly address the problem of lack of space in school classrooms.
The institution, previously an autonomous primary school, integrated a children’s department in 2016 following a rationalization exercise by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
This saw several basic schools near Patrick Town Primary merge with the institution.
The president, Rev. Barrington Bailey, told JIS News that the streamlining exercise led the school administration to reorganize the space available to accommodate new students and teachers.
This undertaking, he pointed out, included the conversion of staff and math rooms into classrooms.
â€œThe rooms that were used for the first and second graders have been transformed to accommodate the little ones, resulting in a change in the overall infrastructure,â€ Bailey said.
The early childhood department has 29 young people enrolled, including 18 boys and 11 girls, and a staff of two qualified teachers and a nursing assistant.
According to Bailey, the new building’s facilities will improve the learning environment for teachers and students.
“I think [it] will [greatly] have an impact on their mental preparation, in that they will have more space, each teacher will have his [own] classroom, and sanitary facilities will now be sufficient. So [they] should be in a better [state] of preparation as we prepare for [the resumption of] face to face learning, â€he said.
Bailey further told JIS News that he anticipates the new building will increase the likelihood that the infant department will be certified by the Early Years Commission.
He also congratulates the CHASE Fund for its contribution to the development of the institution’s infrastructure.
Meanwhile, CHASE Fund CEO Billy Heaven said the organization remains committed to making it easier to upgrade institutions, to enable them to provide the best environment for optimal learning.
â€œThe true value of these schools is the purpose they will serve to begin the journey of nurturing the important years of a child’s life, of influencing how they learn to relate to their peers and to those who care positions of authority, and to provide a place where they will learn to be proud of themselves, the school, the community and their country, â€he said.
In fiscal year 2020-2021, the CHASE Fund funded 12,000 square feet of infrastructure development through the construction, renovation and expansion of five preschools and departments across Jamaica, for a total of ‘approximately $ 134 million.
To date, the CHASE Fund has invested $ 5.7 billion in the early childhood education sector.