Government is promising to build at least four more nursery schools in the heavily populated districts of St Michael and Christ Church.
This was announced by Minister of Education Ronald Jones as he addressed tenth anniversary celebrations of the Olga Millar Nursery School at Farm Road, St Philip last friday.
Commending the school’s administrators for maintaining the facility in good shape over the decade, Jones announced that new schools were planned for several districts.
Government nursery schools, catering to children ages three and four, were planned for Government Hill and Deacons Road in St Michael, Sayes Court in Christ Church, and Holders Hill, St James.
The Minister of Education also announced that the School Meals Centre located near the Olga Millar School would be ready by early next year, and was currently awaiting specialised kitchen equipment.
“I want to encourage parents and communities to support all of our schools. Ideally, I think every school should be painted every three years, and I would like to see businesses within the community adopt schools and purchase paint and other supplies they might need for their maintenance,” Jones appealed.
Wendy Small, principal of Olga Millar Nursery, in her address, implored parents to establish good relations with teachers.
She said history had shown that children tended to behave much better when they knew their parents maintained contact with their teachers.
“So far, we have had good attendance at Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meetings, but [parents] must continue attending PTA meetings as the children go through the different stages of school.
“We have found that children tend to behave better when they know that their parents know their teachers,” the principal explained.
Small said the school was the first nursery school constructed under the Ministry of Education’s mandate to create “a level playing field for all children in terms of early childhood education”.
She said the school’s roll of 72 students was divided into classes of 15 pupils each, however, an additional 14 children were expected to enroll by January 2018. “Since we opened our doors in 2008, we have catered to 723 children and all of them have gone on to do well at primary and secondary school. Parents of past students also tend to recommend this school to their peers.”
Meanwhile, Rector of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Reverend Michael Maxwell who addressed the event, used the acronym ‘OLGA’ to symbolise the elements both parents and teachers should follow.
For parents, he said ‘O’ meant being online with the children, ‘L’ stood for love, ‘G’ represented guidance, and ‘A’ meant always being available for their children.
To the teachers, ‘O’ meant overseer – looking after the children; ‘L’ was for leadership of young minds both academically and by example setting; ‘G’ represented God’s character in everything teachers did, and ‘A’ meant attending the needs of children and their parents.
During the anniversary celebrations, a mural painted by local artist, Akeilah Inniss, was unveiled depicting the school’s namesake, Olga Millar, along with historic landmarks in the parish of St Philip.