Sat | Sep 22, 2018

PM's school drought committee to meet today

Published:Tuesday | August 26, 2014 | 9:18 AM
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller – File

A committee mandated by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to develop strategies to help schools function despite the current drought conditions is to meet today.

The 2014/2015 academic year is less than a week away and there are concerns about how schools will operate under the worsening drought conditions.

Education Minister Ronald Thwaites says a multi-ministry team has been assembled and is to meet today to develop ways to help schools.

And he says those likely to be worst affected, such as schools in deep rural areas, will be given special attention.

Last week, Thwaites suggested that parents give their children water to take to schools for sanitary and other reasons.

The suggestion has been criticised as backward and impractical.

However, the Education Minister says he is standing by it.

Last week, the Meteorological Service of Jamaica told The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre that Jamaica is now experiencing a severe drought with extreme conditions in St Mary, Clarendon and St Mary.

Meanwhile, Opposition Spokesman on Water, Dr Horace Chang says he hopes the committee will consider long term solutions to the water supply and sanitation issues facing the nation’s schools.

In addition to poor water supply, Dr Chang says several schools across the island are still using pit latrines.

He wants the committee to consider seeking international aid to resolve the longstanding issues.

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