Barrington Flemming – Staff Reporter
A new school year begins today with the Ministry of Education (MOE) Region Four, beaming with optimism that all will go well, citing that its more than 100 schools in Westmoreland, St. James and Hanover are all equipped and ready for a perfect launch.
Dr. Michelle Pinnock, Regional Director, MOE Region Four, says all is set and it is anticipated that there should not be any major hiccups at the start.
“The schools are in a state of readiness; we don’t have any reports of any problems at our schools. The Principals have been working diligently all summer. We had principals meeting this week (last week) and we have not had any reports of problems from any of them so we have everything under control.”
Dr. Pinnock further said they have also partnered with the Montego Metro Bus Company to assist with the transportation of students to and from schools.
She said the Ministry’s team would be meeting at the end of the week to conduct a review of the activities.
However, despite Dr. Pinnock’s assurances, a cloud of uncertainty is hovering over two schools which have been battling water problems for months on end.
Marva Davis Clarke, Principal of Broughton Primary School in Westmoreland, says while they are almost ready, they have no water, despite assurances from the National Water Commission (NWC).
“We are almost ready but we have no water. The National Water Commission has promised me water, so we should be getting it. The truck generally comes in to fill the tank but nothing has been done yet. We are doing a little bit of refurbishing but otherwise, we are ready” she said.
She said while they were short of furniture, “a good Samaritan saw the need and gave us some to cover the shortfall”.
A similar fate hangs over the Lucea Primary in Hanover where a highly placed source has indicated that the school is without water, a situation which has plagued the institution since March last year.
Norman Allen, who is the principal of the Frome Technical High in Westmoreland, says all is well, excepting for a few temporary vacancies.
“We are in need of English Language, Mathematics and Electrical Installation teachers for the short term, which is basically for four months and eight months, apart from that, we are good.”
The Farm Primary and Junior High, Montego Bay is reporting that all is well and there should be no problems.