$50m classroom block for Norman Manley high
An additional classroom block is to be built at the Norman Manley High School in St Andrew at a cost of $50 million.
Construction is scheduled to commence in December and be completed by March 2016.
The new block is expected to facilitate the school administration's removal of the double-shift system from the institution by the end of the 2015-16 academic year - next June.
Education Minister, Ronald Thwaites and Finance and Planning Minister and East Central St Andrew Member of Parliament Dr Peter Phillips broke ground for the project during a ceremony at the school on Friday.
In his remarks, Thwaites said the new classrooms would enable the provision of additional contact time between the students and teachers.
While acknowledging that the shift system was "well intentioned," with the school administrations implementing it to accommodate as many students as possible, Thwaites contended that "it interferes with the teaching and learning process".
This, he further argued, results in students losing at least one hour of contact time with teachers daily.
In this regard, the minister said that since 2011, the system had been removed from more than half of the 107 primary and secondary schools, where it was instituted.
He further advised that it would be removed from another 36, including Norman Manley High, during the current academic year, adding that "the remainder will come thereafter".
"We are insistent that every high and primary school should have a full day and have the opportunity for students to get home in reasonable time," the minister stated.
Principal, Adaire Powell-Brown, said her students and staff are eagerly anticipating the school's transition to the single- shift system.