Sat | Jan 19, 2019

Oracabessa Primary students can now get to school on time - Bus purchase to address needs

Published:Monday | January 15, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Education, Youth and Information Minister, Ruel Reid (centre); National Security Minister, Robert Montague (second left), and principal of Oracabessa Primary School, Gregory Davis (right), display a symbolic cheque for US$67,515 (approximately J$8.4 million), which was presented by Japan’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Hiromasa Yamazaki (left), to purchase a new bus for Oracabessa Primary School. The presentation was made at the Office of the Prime Minister last Wednesday. Looking on is Howard Foster, General Sales and Marketing Manager for Toyota Jamaica Limited, which will provide the bus.

In short order, the Oracabessa Primary School in St Mary will have its own Toyota Coaster bus, and therefore will have no more excuses for not having its children come to school, or participate in key activities that contribute to their development.

Last week, with the help of the National Education Trust (NET), an agency of the Ministry of Education, Oracabessa Primary received a cheque in the sum of US$67,515 (approximately J$8.4 million) from newly appointed Japanese Ambassador Hiromasa Yamazaki, through the Japanese Embassy's Grassroots Human Security Project.


Toyota Coaster


The funds will be used to purchase a Toyota Coaster from Toyota Jamaica.

George Davis, principal of the institution, said many of his students live so far away, and are so poor, that they often can't attend school.

"Our school has a population well over 906 students, many of whom come from far rural areas in the hills, where transportation is a problem. It will assist many of the needy students at our school, to come to school on time," Davis said.

"Funny enough, most of the students who will be the recipients of the transportation service are on the PATH (Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education) programme and the parents, incidentally, are some of those who cannot afford to send their children to school regularly because of their inability to pay for transportation to school. I am grateful to the government of Japan and the members from NET for affording us a chance to assist needy children to be commuted to school on a timely basis."

Yamazaki said empowering the most vulnerable people in society was of great importance and that his government saw it as necessary to support the institution in this regard.


Invest in People


"Let me highlight that Japan and Jamaica share the view that no country can develop effectively without investing in its people," the ambassador said.

"We also believe that all valuable citizens should not be left behind. The people of Japan saw the need to provide funding-support to improve the school bus transportation system for students and teachers at Oracabessa which, by and large, will support the development of Jamaica's education endeavour."