Mon | Mar 20, 2023

Albion Primary gets special education classroom block

Published:Sunday | March 12, 2023 | 12:37 PM
Minister of Education and Youth, Fayval Williams (left), reads a commemorative plaque mounted on the wall of the new classroom block built by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) to house the Special Education Unit at Albion Primary School in Knockpatrick, Manchester. The block was formally handed over during a ceremony at the school on March 10). Also reading the plaque are JSIF Chairman, Dr Wayne Henry (centre), and Managing Director, Omar Sweeney. - Contributed photo.

Albion Primary School in Knockpatrick, Manchester has received a new classroom block to house its special education unit.

The structure was constructed over 17 months at a cost of $87.17 million under the Caribbean Development Bank-financed Basic Needs Trust Fund 9th Cycle.

The block was officially handed over to the Ministry of Education by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) on Friday.

The block comprises three classrooms; male and female bathroom stalls, with wheelchair accessible features; a staff room with bathrooms; a sick bay with bathroom; storage area; principal's office; guidance counsellor's office; dining area and kitchen; general bathroom, and a multi-purpose court.

It is also equipped with 10 metal desks and chairs, five teachers desks and chairs, a 75-inch digital display system, two projectors, two Mimeo Teach interactive systems, three fire extinguishers, a first aid kit, play mats, a bed, three laptops with accessories, one refrigerator and a stove, and is enclosed with chain link fencing.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, Minister of Education and Youth, Fayval Williams, said over the past three decades, there has been a shift from a segregated to an inclusive school system for all children.

She noted that efforts have been made to address challenges faced by children with special needs, in relation to physical infrastructure and teaching-learning methodologies.

“The recurring underperformance of students has been a source of concern for administrators and teachers, especially at the primary level,” Williams said.

The Minister indicated that approximately 30 percent of Albion Primary School's population requires special education services, pointing out that some students travel from as far away as Porus to the institution.

As such, she said the school needs more space as the students are not getting the requisite amount of contact time to remain on track.

Williams added that special needs children require more intensive interventions than the offerings provided by many schools.

In thanking JSIF for their significant contribution over the years, Williams appealed to other stakeholders to come on board and help the Ministry in its efforts to fully meet the needs of this important segment of the population.

- JIS News

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