Hanover’s Upper Rock Spring Primary and Infant School has welcomed its students for the new year on a great note, having achieved full certification from the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) in December 2017.
With assistance from Digicel Foundation and community members alike, the school grounds and building were renovated and upgraded to fulfil the criteria set under the ECC’s 12 Operating Standards.
The certification process requires early childhood institutions to meet criteria relating to health, safety and educational quality, including teacher qualification certificates.
Through its partnership with the ECC, Digicel Foundation committed to provide assistance to five early-childhood schools as they work towards becoming ECC certified.
Under this agreement the Foundation invested $10.5 million to equip the Upper Rock Spring Primary and Infant with new ceilings, tiling, fencing, new windows, wheelchair ramp and railings as well as a pump house. They also funded the construction of a new bathroom, kitchen and play area. The school was also painted and fitted with a drinking fountain and electrical alarm system.
To be fully certified, the school had to undergo an extensive inspection by representatives of the ECC. Upper Rock Spring passed with flying colours.
“We believe the standards set out by the ECC with regards to daily operations in our infant schools are necessary to ensure students can benefit fully from the learning experience. The fact that these schools are in rural environments and are usually overlooked was not lost on us. It was important for us to step up and commit to developing these institutions, because together we can ensure that no child is left behind,” explained Dane Richardson, CEO of Digicel Foundation.
Karlene DeGrasse-Deslandes, Executive Director of the ECC congratulated the Upper Rock Spring Primary and Infant School on their achievement, "The Early Childhood Commission congratulates the Upper Rock Spring Primary and Infant School on attaining the legal requirements for operating in Jamaica. Dedication and commitment continue to guide our actions as no effort is speared on our journey to improving child outcomes in order to develop young minds into becoming noble individuals in society. "
The other schools being supported by Digicel Foundation are New Works Primary and Infant, Westmoreland; Pratville Infant Department, Manchester; Carisbrooke Infant Department, St Elizabeth; and Cassava River Primary and Infant Department in St Catherine.