Anchovy High School gets Fidel Castro Campus
Eight hundred students at the Anchovy High School in St James began the 2015-16 school year at a new campus, the Montpelier-based Fidel Castro Campus, which allows the school to revert from a double- shift system to a single-shift operation.
The campus's opening ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, Cuban ambassador Bernardo Guanche Hern·ndez, and Education Minister Ronald Thwaites, along with other education stakeholders.
The campus, which formerly operated as a military base for the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF), was renamed the Fidel Castro Campus in honour of the famed Cuban revolutionary, who donated the school alongside the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sports, the Garvey Maceo High School, and the JosÈ MartÌ Technical High School to the Government of Jamaica in the 1970s.
The Fidel Castro Campus will cater to the grade seven to nine segment of the Anchovy High School student population. Twenty-seven teachers will operate from the location. The grade 10 and 11 students will continue to operate from the old campus in the Anchovy community.
During her keynote address, Simpson Miller took time out to recognise the diplomatic relations between Jamaica and Cuba, which were officially established in 1972.
"The history of modern Jamaica can never be truly chronicled without special mention of the great friendship our people have shared with the people of our neighbouring country of Cuba," said Simpson Miller. "It is a travesty of history that after 1980, our Cuban friends were not allowed to complete the construction, which was then at an advanced stage, and that the facility was never used for its intended purpose of educating our children.
"I want to remind us that we have a special and great responsibility to ensure that at all times, this institution brings honour to the name of the illustrious son of the Caribbean after whom it is named," the prime minister added.
Hern·ndez lauded the event as a demonstration of the goodwill that exists between his country and Jamaica.
"It is a great honour to witness this historic event ... . I am sure that the name of Fidel Castro will be a source of inspiration for students and teachers of this institution to become better human beings," said Hernandez. "This gesture has a profound feeling of the gratitude of the Jamaican Government and has historical significance."