Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
THE JEEP tracker returned to Stewart Town, South Trelawny, two weeks ago and discovered that a project that was listed among those to be undertaken under phase one of the emergency employment programme has not got off the ground.
The Stewart Town Primary School was scheduled to have repairs done to the school ground to prevent flooding. A shed should have been erected to protect students, the kitchen cupboard should have been fabricated, a kitchen sink installed and water supply connected at the school.
Some $1.07 million was set aside to undertake the work, much of which would have flowed back into the hand of the people under the JEEP (Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme).
Principal Beverley Gordon said she was disappointed by the fact that no work has been done at the school to make life more comfortable for the children.
"I am very concerned, because we were promised that something would be done. It was in the papers and that gave us hope but we are still awaiting word from the persons who are in charge of the programme. We have not heard anything in terms of the delivery of the programme," Gordon said.
She said the building officers at the Ministry of Education's regional office have been asking for information on the programme.
"I am anxiously awaiting word on the project. I was hoping that the kitchen would be ready for the reopening of school, I was hoping that the project would have even been completed for the reopening of school. I am disappointed," the principal added.
In the meantime, Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert, the member of parliament for South Trelawny, said the school was on the list of projects to be undertaken under Phase 1 of JEEP but it had to be removed because funds were needed to effect emergency repairs to two sections of a main road in the constituency.
"It was not a matter of the Government not giving the funds or taking the project away from anybody. It was a matter that an emergency came up, the funds were there and it had to be diverted," Dalrymple-Philibert said.
The MP further said she would be seeking to use a portion of the Constituency Development Fund to undertake the project at the school.
"That is slow in coming because of the great economic strain. Right now we just have to understand, and wait," Dalrymple-Philibert said, even while emphasising that the works at the school were being viewed as a priority.
In the meantime, Gordon said she was keeping her fingers crossed, hoping that the situation at her school would be addressed.
"I have not given up. I am still praying. I am still trusting and hoping that something will be done and I am hoping that now that you have come to check on us it will serve as a reminder to the authorities and that something will be done," Gordon said.