The Wakefield Primary and Infant School in Wakefield, St. Catherine, has been transformed into a model school with the addition of a three-classroom block, staff room, kitchen and sick bay complete with perimeter fencing for its Infant department. The construction of the building and provision of classroom furniture, kitchen appliances and play equipment were accomplished with financial assistance in the amount of $33.8M from the CHASE Fund. The handing over ceremony of the new building, took place on Thursday August 20, 2020.
The Wakefield Primary and Infant School which was established in 1922 and has been catering to students from Wakefield, Savanna, Buxon Town, Cool Shade, Banya Gully, Heathfield and other communities.
Public Relations and Administrative Manager at the CHASE Fund, Hilary Coulton, indicated that the CHASE Fund had approved $288M for projects related to Early Childhood Education for the 2019-2020 financial year. “The value in project approvals translated to over 52,000 square feet of infrastructure development through the construction, renovation and expansion of 17 infant schools and departments and minor renovation and equipment for seven infant schools,” she disclosed. Ms. Coulton also noted that $50M had been directed to help 77 early childhood institutions attain certification status, through a partnership with the Early Childhood Commission (ECC).
In addition, the Fund provided scholarship support to 118 recipients enrolled at a variety of institutions including the University of the West Indies, Northern Caribbean University, University of Technology, colleges across the island and overseas colleges and universities for programmes not offered in Jamaica.
Other schools in St. Catherine which received help from the Fund are the: Marlie Hill Primary and Infant School, Cedar Valley Primary and Infant School, Waterford Infant School and the Bonnett Primary and Infant School to name a few.
To date the CHASE Fund has spent $5.315B in critical areas of the early childhood education sector.