Anchovy High's second campus still not ready
Barrington Flemming, Gleaner Writer
THE ANCHOVY High School, St James, which is seeking to become the first school in western Jamaica to phase out the shift system, on Tuesday missed yet another deadline to open its second campus at Montpelier, foiling its bid to end the more than 30-year-old shift system at the school.
The new campus in Montpelier is to house the school's grades seven and eight students.
Calvin G. Brown, the chairman of the school board, told The Gleaner that the school's administration had done everything to get the new campus ready. He said the delay is as a result of the failure of the Ministry of Education to deliver the furniture that is needed.
"We are awaiting furniture from the Ministry of Education. Everything is in place, we have done all that was necessary, but we have no furniture to equip the classrooms to accommodate the students," said Brown. "... it is not the fault of the school's administration why we missed this second deadline."
EIGHT NEW CLASSROOMS
Brown further noted that an additional eight classrooms are also needed to house the large volume of students who are currently on both shifts.
Byron Buckley, director of communications at the Ministry of Education, told The Gleaner that the ministry was working through the National Education Trust to acquire the furniture for the expansion of the school.
"We are hoping to have all the furniture in place during the Easter term," said Buckley. "It is the intention to have this new campus ready at that time ... so it will then be taken off the shift system."
The Government is spending J$120 million to restructure the facility to make it ready to function as a school.
The Montpelier facility was built in the late 1970s as an agricultural school. However, it was subsequently transformed into a camp for the Jamaica Defence Force. In recent years, it was also used to house Haitian refugees.
The Anchovy High School has a student population of 2,200 and has been on the shift system since 1975.