The government is preparing itself to maintain the Primary School of Textbook Project in association with private sector entities in Jamaica, after the international donors have ceased their funding, said the Minister of Education, Dr. Neville Gallimore.
Dr. Gallimore was addressing a Thanksgiving Luncheon for Year Four (1987) of the Primary School Textbook Project, at the Dunrobin Primary School yesterday.
“Many people are expressing concern at the outcome of the project when the international donors withdraw their support, but the Jamaican Government is preparing itself to take over the funding with the help of private sector companies. And we are to take the next two years as a training period in order to maintain the same standards,” he said.
The Minister said he could not conceive the project being decreased or retrenched, as he has seen the benefits of the programme.
“I have seen children motivated, and there is much more to learn,” he said as he displayed copies of the textbooks taken at random from some classrooms. He said that the books were well taken care of by the schhols and he encouraged other students to take good care of them.
The minister touched on the Common Entrance Examination issue, which he said was not a “pass or fail” exam, but for the cream of the crop to be chosen; and he paid tribute to the teahers of Jamaica, whom he said were “among the most dedicated people anywhere in the world”.
Also on the question of the examination, he said Science and Social Studies were not being introduced into the CEE syllabus for the first time. But had been in the school curriculum for many years.
Dr. Gallimore said that, come Januray, the Jamaica Teachers’ Association, in association with the Ministry of Education, was hoping to achieve the “voluntary re-location of teachers islandwide”, whereby the raio would be moved from 1:52 to 1:42.
Mr. Roy Dickson, Special Projects Manager at the Gleaner Company, in an update of the project (in which the Gleaner Company is involved), said that the quality of the books had improved this year because of a fair amount of “re-typsetting.” Textbooks had been sent to all schools but some receivals were a bit late this year because of certain transportaion and weather problems.
Mr. Dickson also reported that the project had receuved an additional contribution of three thousand pounrds sterling this year from another overseas donor – Caribbean students at the London School of Economics.
Other speakers the the luncehon were: Here Excellency, Miss Kathryn McCallion, Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica; Mr. Lanny Reynolds, Managing Director of the Jamaica National Building Society; Mr. Cecil Turner, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education; Philicia Martin and Mark Higgins, students of Dunrobin and Belfield Primary Schools; Mrs. Blossom Hoad, of Belfield – a parent; Mr. Vivian Walker, a teacher of Catherine Hall Primary; and MRs. P. Fraser, principal of Dunrobin Primary School. A couple of rousing songs of thanks and appreciation of the donors and the project were composed and rendered by the students and band of Dunrobin Primary.
Mr. Oliver Clarke, Chairman of the Gleaner Company, gave the closing remarks in which he said the textbook project was undoubtedly “one of the most exciting” the company had undertaken.
He called on the Parent Teachers’ Association to encourage the children to take very good care of the books, and pledged that the company would continue to seek support for the project.
Picture: APPRECIATION GESTURE: Miss Noveta Munroe (3rd left)m Circulation Manager of the Gleaner Company Ltd., presents to MRs. Yvonne Johnson (left) of the United States Agency for International Development, a gift of expressing the appreciation of the Gleaner Company for the assistance given towards the Primary School Textbook Project. Occasion was the Thanksgiving Luncheon put on by the Gleaner Company for donors and participants involved in the project. The function was held at the Dunrobin Primary School. Others in picture are Mr. Karsten Erdsmann (2nd left), Cultural Attache to the German Embassy to Jamaica and at right is Mr. Roy Dickson, Special Projects Manager at the Gleaner. Mr. Dickson is the man under whose portfolio the Textbook Project falls.
Source: The Gleaner