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JC's PTA provides students with $5.2m Shoppe - Refurbished facility to boost academic performance

Published:Thursday | September 29, 2016 | 9:34 AM
R. Danny Williams (left) and Ruel Reid (third left), minister of education, youth and information, with past presidents of the Jamaica College Parent-Teacher Association (from left) Claudette Chin (2003-2007), Moira Edwards (2007-2008), Sandra Chisholm Ford (2008-2010), Collin Greenland (2010-2014) and Garfield Grandison (2014-2016), who were awarded for their contribution to the PTA.

To assist its boys with conducting research and having their school-based assessments (SBAs) submitted in a timely manner, Jamaica College (JC) on Tuesday reopened its newly refurbished Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) Shoppe at the school.

The total cost of the renovation was $5.2 million, and includes a document centre with eight high-end Lenovo computers and a storage area from which school supplies and JC memorabilia will be sold.

Jamaica National was the main sponsor, contributing $2 million. The other $3.2 million was sourced through other donors.

The reopening came during the 10th year of JC's 10-year transformation.

"We started in September 2006 with the hiring of Mr Ruel Reid as principal. During these 10 years, the entire physical structure was transformed, the academic performance was transformed, the physical environment was transformed, and the student profile was transformed," said PTA President Errol Holmes.

"What we are doing is celebrating those achievements and then getting money to help us move towards the next 10 years, which is now to be a larger strategic development of our physical plant, our student output, and our performance."

Holmes added: "The purpose of the building is to assist our boys with research for the timely submission of their SBAs and their internal assessment exams, to do research for classroom assignments to ensure that they move their submission rates from 65 per cent to 95 per cent, and their submission of their SBAs from 75 per cent to 100 per cent."

Immediate past president Garfield Grandison said that PTAs have a duty in ensuring students grow academically and urged schools across the island to replicate the move and not solely depend on the Government to deliver top-quality education.

“We believe PTAs have a role to play in ensuring there’s the right environment for students to grow academically. We urge others at schools across the country to play a similar role as we cannot look to Government to provide all the resources necessary to deliver top-quality education,” he said. 

Reid, who is now minister of education, information and youth, told The Gleaner that not all students are fortunate enough to afford access to the Internet or other resources.

"The students need an area where they can facilitate their documentation. They have projects that they need to bind and print. A lot of kids don't have Internet [access]. We have far more poor people than we want to admit, and therefore the school has to try to provide a lot of the services at school that otherwise they don't have available at home," the minister said.

Past PTA presidents Claudette Chin (2003-2007), Moira Edwards (2007-2008), Sandra Chisholm Ford (2008-2010), Collin Greenland (2010-2014) and Garfield Grandison (2014-2016) were awarded for their services.