Some 12 schools in the parishes of St Catherine, St Thomas and Manchester, affected by Hurricane Dean in August, can look forward to having their facilities repaired, thanks to a J$20 million donation from the Digicel Foundation.
The official presentation ceremony took place at the Ministry’s National Heroes’ Circle offices on Friday, November 2. The schools were chosen based on assessments conducted by the Ministry of Education.
Speaking on behalf of the Digicel Foundation Executive Director Major General Robert Neish said that the Foundation was pleased to support the education system, one of the critical pillars of community building which was at the heart of the Foundation’s mandate.
“We are pleased to make this donation toward repairs to schools damaged by Hurricane Dean. We pledge to continue our working relationship with the Ministry of Education to help ensure that our children get the best opportunity to learn and thus succeed in life.”
Education Minister Andrew Holness said the Digicel donation would go a far way towards helping the Ministry deal with some of the worst affected schools.
“Our estimate for the repairs to the hardest-hit schools is some $22 million, so we greatly appreciate this gift from Digicel through the Foundation, and we hope it will spur other companies to similar and greater levels of support,” Minister Holness said.
The Minister further pointed out that some $500 million had been allocated by the Government to cover repairs to schools and said he expected all repairs to be completed within the school year.