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Meylersfield Mountain gets new basic school

Published:Thursday | September 15, 2016 | 3:17 PM
Meylersfield Basic School.

Residents of Meylersfield Mountain, near Little London in Westmoreland, now have a spanking new basic school, which officially opened its doors for the first time on the morning of Monday, September 5.

The new school, the Meylersfield Mountain Basic School, which has 24 students enrolled, was established by the Godfrey Stewart High School Alumni Association International Incorporation (GSHSAAII) and Ian Miles, the People's National Party councillor/caretaker for the Little London division.

"We saw the need for a new basic school in the community some time ago and we decided to do something about it," said Myles, a well-known sports journalist in western Jamaica. "I am really happy that we were able to do this for the children of Meylersfield Mountain."

Before the timely intervention of GSHSAAII and Myles, the children of Meylersfield Mountain attended a 60-year-old basic school which operated from a church in the community.

"Given its location and its non-independent status, the old basic school grappled with financial instability as it was unable to receive substantial support from the government," said Myles.

"I learnt of the plight of the old basic school about a year and a half ago, while walking through the community," said Myles. "I promptly made a commitment to the school's principal, Inez Clarke, that I would do all I could to ensure that they get a new school building."

With a determination to fulfil his promise, Myles went out and solicited the assistance of Lena Johnson, the coordinator of GSHSAAII, who also had an interest in getting a new basic school for Meylersfield Mountain. Through their collaborative efforts, the new school was completed in a mere six months.

In addition to their new school, the 24 students of Meylersfield Mountain are also the recipients of individual sponsorships, thanks to a commitment given by a member of the GSHSAAII

"The level of sponsorship includes coverage of tuition fees, uniforms and all other back-to-school supplies. Each child will also get a weekly allowance," said Myles. "A chicken-rearing project is to be undertaken to provide lunches on a day-to-day basis for the children."