Thu | Jul 19, 2018

No major problems for some East Kingston schools ahead of new school year

Published:Friday | August 26, 2016 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
Ancillary staff members carrying out clean-up work on Windward Road Primary School on Tuesday.
Teacher Tashane Roaden painting a section of the grade 8 block at the Holy Trinity School.
A staff member at Clan Carthy making the rounds at her school's back-to-school preparations on Tuesday.
Veronica Stephens taking part in the clean-up work at Clan Carthy High School on Tuesday.

The countdown for the start of the new school year, beginning September 3, has begun and schools in the eastern section of the capital city, which The Gleaner visited this week, are happy about their state of readiness so far.

Everything seems to be in place at Windward Road Primary and Junior High School according to principal, Norman Malcolm.

Repairs have been completed and only a hand full of female labourers were seen on Tuesday, cleaning and washing down the insides of classrooms, the outer walls, and windows.

"Everything is basically in place for September. Our policy is that when the children get here the first Monday morning in September, they are to find a compound that is ready. We don't believe in coming to school during that (last) week and getting the place ready. We use the two weeks prior to the opening of school," he told The Gleaner.

"Doing repairs and other major work is split up into cycles at this school, which means that not every aspect of preparation will be redone each year. This lessens the expenses and the amount of work required.

"Things like old desks and chairs have all been repaired. We are fortunate here in that we have an industrial art department and we are able to repair our own chairs and desks. We have a policy here where we have cycles that we operate in because take painting, for example. This year we're not doing any painting because next year is really the cycle for painting. Put it this way: we are on schedule," he said.

So far so good is how principal of Camperdown High School Valentine Bailey described his school's progress in preparing for September. Expanding the biology lab at the school was one of the major projects undertaken this year.

"We had started at the end of June to do a furniture audit, and so we have done some repairs and we have purchased some furniture. Painting has been done, but there are a few areas (still left) to touch up. We have been doing some repairs to our biology lab. We have expanded that area. We're doing some repairs to the bathroom fixtures. We wanted to repair the roof of our industrial department, but we are waiting on the contractor to tell us if he'll be able to make the timeline. We (also) want to put up another eating area for the sixth-formers," he said.


Funding reduced


Jerry Small, Clan Carthy High School's bursar, said the most pressing challenge was to deal with the reality that funding was less this year even though the repairs needed remained the same as in previous school years. Despite the inadequate funding, however, the school has managed to accomplish much.

"The most difficult (part) is, the money is less this year and we don't have any less repairs. The repairs are the same or thereabouts. The biggest challenge we have now is trying to spend wisely and getting a lot of work done. We are cleaning the classrooms. We are doing some minor repairs. We're fixing up our labs, installing a new camera system and trying to patch some of the classrooms because the students are very destructive," Small said.

At the Vauxhall and Holy Trinity High schools, workmen were very active, carrying out their different functions.

In some classrooms at Vauxhall, huge sections of the walls were being cut out and replaced with appropriate ventilation as complaints from students and teachers were that the classes were very hot.

The Rollington Town Primary School has been waiting on an audit to be done so that they can acquire new furniture as there is a shortage. No major painting was done. A few window panes were in need of replacement.