[Kingston, Jamaica] – With schools across the island set to reopen for virtual learning this week, three corporate area schools and their students are today expressing gratitude to real estate investment company, Kingston Properties Limited after the company made donations totalling over J$750,000 to assist with their preparations for the new school year.
Chief Executive Officer of Kingston Properties Limited, Kevin Richards, said the company is committed to helping schools provide the best education they can, given the current circumstances.
“The past 18 months have been unimaginable for the education of students all across the world. While we all would have hoped that, come this new school year, students would be able to return to face-to-face learning, that is not the case. As a company, it is very important for us to continue to support our schools and their students as they continue to navigate these difficult times,” Richards said.
“The Ministry appreciates the support of the private sector for our schools. The education of our children must be a national, collaborative effort,” said Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams who was on hand for the ceremonial handover of a donation of $255,000 to the Dunrobin Primary School on Thursday (September 2, 2021).
She continued, “That is why for example, we are encouraging everyone who is eligible and has not yet done so to get vaccinated. We know that parents and students are anxious to see a resumption of face-to-face classes. But we can only do so with reasonable assurance and confidence that a majority of students, preferably all, and the rest of the school administration and support staff are vaccinated. This is for their own good health as much as that of others with whom they will interact.”
The principal of the Dunrobin Primary School, Sacheel Grant Henry, in expressing gratitude for the donation, said they were able to install 15 doors along with other infrastructural upgrades at the school which will significantly improve the morale of staff and students when they return.
“I had a group of teachers whose doors were just in deplorable conditions and when you have those situations it really lowers the spirits of teachers to have them operating in less than ideal conditions. I believe in creating a work environment that is comfortable and conducive to learning so we are very grateful for this donation,” Grant Henry said.
The Callaloo Mews Basic School also received a cash injection of $50,000 into their school feeding programme as well as sanitary products and masks to help with the protection against COVID-19. According to the school’s principal, Angela Gordon Black, the school feeding programme has been critical for children in the community who are forced to continue their learning at the school despite the pandemic.
“Many schools in the inner-city like us are going through very challenging times since the start of the pandemic. Many days students, many of whom are not even registered at the school, show up because we are their only option to attend classes and have meals. This financial donation and the donation of sanitary supplies will help to alleviate some of the challenges that we are facing and help us provide for our students,” Gordon Black said.
The Red Hills Primary School received 10 tablets and two laptops to assist teachers and students continue their virtual learning in the new school year.
“There are so many students still without devices to do their online learning so we are very grateful to Kingston Properties Limited for this donation. It will definitely go a far way for these students who will receive devices,” said Paul Messam, Principal of the Red Hills Primary School.
Richards is also encouraging other corporate companies to step in where they can to help schools provide the best education, despite the obvious challenges.