Jermaine Francis, Gleaner Writer
As schools reopened yesterday, all eyes were set on the unfinished Cedar Grove Academy at which some 100 students who completed their Grade Six Achievement Test in March were placed.
In June, parents were up in arms over the education ministry's decision to place their children at a largely unfinished school that many were hearing about for the first time.
At the opening of the school yesterday, parents changed their tune somewhat and were more cooperative.
Even as they turned up at the school to be informed by the principal, Ottis Brown, that some last-minute touches were being done to make what he described as a "construction site" more accommodating, the parents said they were pleased with the ministry's decision to complete a block at the Portmore, St Catherine, institution.
"Based on what I came and saw the last time, this is a good surprise in terms of the preparations that have been made, and we weren't really expecting this, because what they told us at first was that the students would be over there in the container, so this is a vast improvement," noted Janice Pinnock, a parent.
Another parent, Leon Dawkins, said he would be adopting a wait-and-see attitude towards the school's operation.
"So far, what I am seeing is positive. Hopefully it will be successful because it can work, so I am waiting to see what happens when it's fully completed," he said.
Principal Brown said the parents were satisfied with the morning's activities and the block earmarked to house the 100 students was fully completed, with a cafeteria downstairs.
"The four classrooms and the area the children are to be using immediately are altogether complete. The other areas are to be completed, and we expect work to be done by early November," he said.
He is assuring parents that the ongoing construction on the compound will not affect students' learning, as a schedule has been worked out with the contractors.
The Cedar Grove Academy is being built at a cost of $600 million.