Sun | Oct 2, 2022

Portland schools experience minor glitches

Published:Tuesday | September 5, 2017 | 12:00 AMGareth Davis Sr
Port Antonio High School students boarding a robot taxi to get to school.
Port Antonio High School grade 10 student Johnnie Lee Leslie ready for a new year.


Except for a few minor glitches, the 2017-2018 academic year got off to a relatively smooth start for most schools in Portland.

At Port Antonio High School, Johnnie Lee Leslie, who has a physical disability, told The Gleaner that he was excited about the reopening of school, and that he was rather eager to settle down for a full term of hard work.

Leslie is a grade 10 student who hails from one of the most depressed communities in the parish, Ackee Lane, where there are little or no socio-economic activities.

"I have not gotten all my textbooks as yet," he shared.

"I am hoping that my mother will be able to purchase some during the course of this week, and my father has promised to send us some money to help out. It is rather challenging for him (father), as he is not employed full time. I am determined to do well, as I am well aware that only education can help me to achieve my goals in life."

At Port Antonio Primary, dozens of parents were outside the office of the principal seeking to raise their concerns about a book rental system, on which they hope to capitalise.

"The cost of textbooks is way too high," said Jasmine Murdock, a parent.

"One textbook for my son, who is in grade four, is for $1,800. I also have two other children in high schools that have similar challenges. I am calling for the Government to look into this situation, as oftentimes, textbooks are bought for students, but they are never used in class. Times are hard and I have no money to play with or to waste."