JIS: Campbell’s Castle Primary School in South Manchester has been rebuilt at a cost of over $51 million, providing more modern and spacious surroundings for teachers and students.
The new two-storey structure comprises four classrooms, a computer laboratory, principal’s office, staff room, bathrooms, a storeroom, and other facilities to serve the small student population.
The project was undertaken by the Education, Youth and Information Ministry, through the National Education Trust (NET), with the Japanese Government contributing just over $13 million under the Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security initiative.
Infrastructure work was done over two phases with the first phase extending from May to October 2017; and the second segment from August 2018 to March 2019.
Advisor at the Ministry, Howard Chamberlain, who delivered the keynote address at the official handover of the school on Monday (April 8), said that the project “provides a conducive teaching and learning environment that caters to all levels of learners, enabling them to enhance their knowledge and competence”.
“It means that no child who attends Campbell’s Castle should feel left behind in having access to the latest technology and other resources to help with their educational development,” he said.
Mr. Chamberlain noted that the added facilities will better enable teachers to apply the National Standards Curriculum and prepare students for the Primary Exile Profile (PEP). He said that the institution will continue to receive support from the Ministry’s Special Needs Unit and from the Tablets in Schools Programme.
Japan’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Hiromasa Yamazaki, said his country “is honoured to partner with Jamaica to assist in the development of the social and economic programmes that enhance the education of its young citizens”.
He noted that the project has provided an appropriate teaching and learning environment for all the students and teachers.
“I do hope that you will enjoy your new school environment and that your students will continue to excel academically and in their extracurricular activities on a national level. I sincerely hope that all the parents and community people will be able to feel and share the joy and happiness, now that the children have a more comfortable environment,” he added.
Ambassador Yamazaki pledged to continue to “work with the people and the Government of Jamaica, to strengthen the partnership between our countries”.
Director of Donor and Partnership Management at NET, Latoya Harris, hailed the project as a signal of the “power of collaboration and friendship” between Jamaica and Japan, while Member of Parliament for South Manchester, Michael Stewart, urged the school community to ensure that the building remains “clean and inviting”.
Mr. Stewart said that the behaviour and conduct of persons who use the school must inspire confidence, “so that it can provide a beacon of hope for generations to come”.
CAPTION: Japan’s Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Hiromasa Yamazaki (third left), and Member of Parliament for South Manchester, Michael Stewart (third right), cut the ribbon to open the newly rebuilt Campbell’s Castle Primary School in South Manchester on Monday (April 8). Sharing the moment (from left) are Chairman of the School Board, Maureen Tomlinson; students, Khadijah Napier and Jordon Anderson; Principal, Petagaye Campbell; and student, Dejaneca Pryce