JIS: The three schools that began operating on the single shift on Monday (September 4) have reported a smooth transition, which should result in more educational programmes for students.
They are Mandeville Primary and Junior High School in Manchester, Green Park Primary and Junior High in Clarendon, and Kitson Town All-Age in St. Catherine.
Principal of the Mandeville Primary and Junior High, Howard Salmon, told JIS News that parents supported the move to the single-shift system, and administrators were able to implement the move without any difficulty.
The way forward, he said, is to continue to provide quality education for the students and to complete their $50-million auditorium that will be used as a homework and after-school facility.
Principal of the Green Park Primary and Junior High, Frederick Lattray, said they had prepared the stakeholders for the change.
“It means that the students will have greater time in the teaching and learning process,” he said.
Mr. Lattray added that more time will be given to extracurricular activities and other character-development programmes, which the shift system did not allow.
He noted that the school is now charting a growth path, which includes adding an early-childhood institution. “Having an early-childhood institution will further strengthen our ability to better prepare our students,” the Principal told JIS News.
Meanwhile, Principal of the Kitson Town All-Age, Nerica Powell-Hay, reported that parents were “excited” to know that their children will be spending more hours at school.
She said the development also means improved security for children, as they will leave the institution long before dusk.
“More time will be allotted to teaching and learning sessions, and our children will also be able to participate in more extracurricular activities. We are looking forward to the benefits of this system, with improved performance by the students,” Mrs. Powell-Hay said.
Several other schools will exit the shift system in January of 2018 and beyond.
Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has said that ground will be broken by 2019 for five new schools, while collaborations will continue between the
Government and multilateral partners for the building of 17 new institutions to meet the space needed.
He said two schools will be built in North East and North West Manchester, one in the Old Harbour area, one in North West St. Ann, and one in the Montego Bay area in St. James.
“Those are the critical areas that we have to look at,” the Minister said in an interview with JIS News.
CAPTION: The Ministry of Education’s main office, 2 National Heroes Circle.