Jermaine Francis, Staff Reporter
The largely unfinished Cedar Grove Academy, located in Portmore, St Catherine, will open this morning with a staff compliment of 15 teachers and 72 registered students.
"It (Cedar Grove Academy) is well on the way to completion and the school will open on its own territory in the morning. Not anywhere else," education minister Ronald Thwaites said.
The minister was speaking yesterday at the national back-to-school church service which was held at the Portmore New Testament Church of God.
Up to yesterday afternoon, the school ground was a dusty construction site filled with heavy duty equipment and several workmen.
Only one block, containing four classrooms, has been completed.
As the clock ticked towards the start of the new school year, workmen could be seen hurriedly painting and making last-minute preparations to the block earmarked for receiving Cedar Grove's first set of students.
Ottis Brown, the man given the task to head the institution, yesterday insisted that things are in place to start delivering lessons at the academy today.
"Certainly, the gates will be open for our students to come in and things will flow smoothly," Brown said.
"Beginning immediately all subjects will be rolled out because our timetable is up and ready and the business for teaching and learning will start today," he added.
He said the school is also aiming to start delivering Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exams through its sixth form by October this year.
"The structure for the sixth form is in place, so we will be accepting applications starting this Wednesday," Brown said.
In June, several parents took the education ministry to task over its decision to place students at the unfinished Cedar Grove Academy, which is being constructed at a cost of $600 million.
At the time, the ministry had proposed to house the children at a nearby basic school and church.
However, in mid-August, permanent secretary in the education ministry, Elaine Foster Allen, told The Gleaner that the plans had shifted and a section of the school would be completed by the beginning of the new school year.