Negril Basic basks in positive energy
Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
Rockhouse Foundation and the administration of the Negril Basic School have joined forces to fight the stigma attached to the early childhood institution that has undergone a transformation in infrastructure and educational support.
Prior to the intervention by the Rockhouse Foundation four years ago, the school was challenged by poor management and inadequate infrastructure, which forced many parents to move their children to other institutions.
"What the staff, including me, has done over the past three years in trying to make a difference is to provide an enriched stimulating learning environment with hands-on activities, proper supervision, and regular homework," said acting principal Grace Scott.
The student population at Negril Basic School is now 84. It is still operating below the 100 children that it can accommodate. Parents are required to pay $3,000 per term - a cost that is significantly lower than similar schools, which charge as much as $7,000, or more, per term.
With trained early child-hood teachers employed to the school and a newly built playground to support recreational activities, Scott told Western Focus that students who are enrolled receive value-added educational support for their money.
"We truly care. We are not in it for the money. When a child succeeds, we share in that joy," she stated.
"Great things are going on here and we want to encourage parents to come and see the transformation that has taken place. Don't just listen to what is being said about the school. Come and see for yourself."
Environment manager at Rockhouse Hotel in Negril, Jonnel Edwards, said that the Rockhouse Foundation had gone a far way in helping to improve the morale and infrastructure of the school.
"Negril Basic School is new and improved. The Rockhouse Foundation has provided monetary support to improve infrastructure."
Edwards added that they implemented a breakfast pro-gramme that provides a meal to each student before the start of classes.
"We have also constructed a state-of-the-art playground for the infants. For all the amenities that are provided for the school fee each term, we want the public to understand this and take advantage of the great school that has so much to offer," she emphasised.