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Extra lessons at Tacky High

Published:Sunday | August 3, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Errol Bascoe
Robert Montaque

Orantes Moore, Sunday Gleaner Writer

Later this month, an innovative driving lesson scheme will be launched at Tacky High School in Gayle, St Mary, which has been made possible by a donation from Senator Robert 'Bobby' Montague. During the institution's 2013-2014 end-of-year function, it was announced that Montague had contributed a 1990 Toyota Corolla to help students who want to sharpen their skills as they prepare to acquire a driver's licence.

Tacky High's principal, Errol Basco, said Montague (who is the Jamaica Labour Party's caretaker for Western St Mary) has always maintained a good relationship with the school.

"Senator Montague gave us the vehicle with the intention that it be used to assist students, particularly those who have recently graduated, who want to practise so they are ready to get their driver's licence. Primarily, the lessons will be for people aged 17 years old and older who are ready to take their test," Basco said.

programme expansion

The vehicle is being prepared for its new role - an unusual one in the education system. "The title for the vehicle is currently being transferred from the previous owner into the name of Tacky High School, and Senator Montague and I recently took the vehicle to get a certificate of fitness. We are also in the process of getting the licensing done at the collectorate," Basco said.

The principal noted that although the car was originally intended for students' use, it has been decided that the programme should be expanded. Basco said, "Initially, the vehicle was for students from the school, but people from the local community began to show an interest. So, after a discussion, Mr Montague said there would be nothing wrong with extending the project to them, too."

However, there will be a stipulation. "Subsequently, it has been left with us to charge them a fee to give the instructor a stipend and cover the costs of refuelling the car. Already, some people from the local community have shown interest and registered for lessons," the principal said.

Basco added that although some minor issues were yet to be ironed out, he hopes to have the driving scheme up and running by next week "The vehicle is not yet fully roadworthy and we don't have an instructor yet. But as soon as these things are sorted out, lessons will begin on the school's playing field," he said.

Measures have been put in place to keep the car in good condition.. "In case anything goes wrong with the vehicle, Senator Montague has also given us a local mechanic who is responsible for maintenance, servicing, repairs, tyres and things like that. We to want have everything in order before we put anybody in the vehicle," Basco said.