A total of 21,900 pieces of furniture will be delivered to schools over the next two months by the Ministry of Education.
Portfolio Minister Fayval Williams said 15,500 pieces are desks and chairs for students and 1,600 pieces for teachers.
An additional 1,200 pieces of trapezoidal tables and 3,600 chairs are also being manufactured.
They are made locally by secondary school students as part of the ministry’s school furniture program.
“This initiative facilitates the manufacture of furniture from scratch under the careful supervision of teachers and, sometimes, other qualified people. The furniture is then used by the school, and some is sold to neighboring schools,” Williams said during a post-Cabinet press briefing, held Wednesday at Jamaica House.
She said the ministry “has significantly increased the resources allocated to the program” for the 2022/23 academic year.
The Minister of Education pointed out that the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) reviews the quality of furniture and provides approvals in accordance with their standards.
Additionally, in time for the start of the school year, kindergartens and elementary schools received 6,483 pieces of furniture, while secondary schools received $800,000 to repair and purchase furniture earlier in the year.
“This task requires a multifaceted approach and partnerships involving key stakeholders. We have taken this partnership approach with some of our schools and it has worked well, which is why the majority of schools that requested desks and chairs received at least some of them in time for the new school year,” said the Minister of Education.
Schools participating in the program include Belmont Academy in Westmoreland; Muschett High and Holland High in Trelawny; Central High and Vere Technical in Clarendon; Ocho Rios High in St Ann; Oracabessa High in St. Mary; Port Antonio High in Portland; and St Andrew Technical and Papine High in St Andrew.
– JIS News