Jamaica Gleaner

Ris­ing from the ashes

Closed pri­mary schools in South East St Ann to be trans­formed into agri­cul­tural in­sti­tu­tion

- Carl Gilchrist Gleaner Writer Society · Education · Ministry of Human Resource Development · Belgium · Jamaica · Digicel Pacific · Austria · Sydney · Henry Lau · Belarus · Iceland · Watsonville

TWO OF the four pri­mary schools in St Ann, closed by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion be­cause of low at­ten­dance, will be trans­formed into agri­cul­tural train­ing in­sti­tu­tions.

Un­der a pro­ject be­ing im­ple­mented by the San­dals Foun­da­tion, the Methodist Church, HEART Trust/NTA, the Ja­maica Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety and Dig­i­cel, Watsonvill­e and Jef­freyville pri­mary schools in South East St Ann are to form the home of a new agri­cul­tural school to be dubbed ‘Vil­lage Academy’.

Watsonvill­e and Jef­freyville pri­mary schools are among a group of 18 schools the ed­u­ca­tion min­istry has an­nounced will not re­open come Septem­ber.

Stu­dents who were reg­is­tered at those schools have been trans­ferred to other in­sti­tu­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to Syd­ney Henry, pro­ject man­ager of the San­dals Foun­da­tion, the cur­ricu­lum for Vil­lage Academy will be pro­vided by the HEART Trust/NTA, which will also cer­tify the stu­dents.

Henry said the re­sponse to the pro­posed agri­cul­tural school has been very good, with youth show­ing a lot of in­ter­est in the in­sti­tu­tion.

“We are tar­get­ing young­sters who are prob­a­bly at risk be­cause of their sta­tus in the cur­rent sys­tem, ei­ther be­cause of poor or in­ad­e­quate par­tic­i­pa­tion or those who pass through the sys­tem but did not ma­tric­u­late,” said Henry.

The pro­ject is ex­pected to present an op­por­tu­nity to at-risk youth, aged 15 to 25, who want to pur­sue a ca­reer in agri­cul­ture.

The school, which is sched­uled to open its doors in Septem­ber, with 100 stu­dents, is to be op­er­ated by the Vil­lage Foun­da­tion, a non-gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion.

 ?? PHOTO BY CARL GILCHRIST ?? The build­ing which housed the Jef­freyville Pri­mary School in South East St Ann.
PHOTO BY CARL GILCHRIST The build­ing which housed the Jef­freyville Pri­mary School in South East St Ann.
 ??  ?? HENRY
HENRY

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