JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says Spanish Town High School is among priority institutions to receive support to transition from the shift system.
Speaking during a tour of the school on Monday (November 14), Mr. Reid said the Ministry is committed to seeing how best it can remove all schools from the shift system through a two-year programme now under way.
He informed that additional funds will be provided in the budget for the St. Catherine-based school to support the buildout of new classrooms and facilities. He noted that the school was already provided with funding towards this move.
The Minister’s tour followed a meeting with teachers and other staff, where he extended condolences for the recent sudden death of teacher Shanorayo Hemmings-Neil.
“We are all in this business of education together, and when you have any unfortunate occurrences in our schools, it affects all of us and it’s important that I engage all the stakeholders on the ground to let them know that the Minister cares and that we will be working with them going forward,” he said.
He said the visit also gave him the opportunity to examine the school’s facilities and see how best the Ministry can respond.
Senator Reid gave a commitment to help the school with improvements of a reading room, which Mrs. Hemmings-Neil was instrumental in developing. He said the room will be equipped with computers and tablets.
He noted that the Ministry, in collaboration with the Sports Development Foundation, will also help with the upgrading of the playfield.
Teachers at the school will be benefiting from wellness and health activities, which will include therapy and counselling exercises as well as massages and health tips.
Senator Reid noted that the Ministry is looking to establish a wellness programme for educators through partnership with the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA).
“We need to support our teachers to reduce the stress levels that they undertake,” Senator Reid said.
Principal of the school, Ventley Brown, expressed appreciation for the visit by the Minister and his team and for the commitment of support.
Senator Reid was accompanied by Deputy Chief Education Officer of School Operations, Dorrett Campbell; Assistant Chief Education Officer, Guidance and Counselling, Fern McFarlane; and Regional Director for Region Six, Maxine Headlam.
CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (right), adjusts the collar of a student at Spanish Town High School, during a tour of the institution on Monday (November 14).