Whitfield Town All-Age at Odds with Education Ministry Over Funding

The Chairman of the Whitfield Town All Age School in crime-plagued South West St. Andrew, John Mahfood, is dismissing claims by the Education Ministry that it’s provided funding to repair a pit at the school.

A column in today’s Gleaner quoted a letter Mr. Mahfood submitted to the Education Ministry, about the state of despair the school is in, having no water, no Internet services, and a malfunctioning pit.

Education Minister, Senator Ruel Reid, says he’s met with Mr. Mahfood and Member of Parliament for the area, Dr. Angela Brown Burke, about the issues at the school.

He says the Education Ministry has committed funds to carry out works on the malfunctioning pit. But, Minister Reid says works have been delayed due to violence in the community.

But, Mr Mahfood says no such funds have been made available for the renovation works at the school. He says he’s receiving no support from the Education Ministry.

Mr. Mahfood says nothing came out of the meeting he had with Minister Reid and MP Brown Burke, about the deficiencies at the school.

Mr. Mahfood says he’s also seeking funding to establish an Infant Department at the institution. This, he feels will provide the opportunity to detect students’ weaknesses earlier.

Mr. Mahfood says the school has about 100 students. The Chairman says 24 students sat the last Grade Six Achievement Test, GSAT, and only two scored enough to be placed in a traditional High School.

Mr. Mahfood says he’s been receiving positive feedback from past students of the school, who are pledging to volunteer their services to assist the institution.

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