Hanover schools affected by state of emergency

January 30, 2018
Bethel Primary and Junior High
Byron Grant, principal of Hopewell High School.

Students and teachers, who attend and work in schools in Hanover, are feeling the ripple effect of the ongoing state of emergency in neighbouring St James, as their travel time has increased significantly due to the various police/military checkpoints.

The checkpoints are essential in the bid to prevent criminals in St James from escaping into the other western parishes.

But since the start of the state of emergency, students have been having a challenge getting transportation from Montego Bay to Hanover.

Some teachers are also complaining that they have had to leave home much earlier than usual to get to school on time.

Byron Grant, the principal at Hopewell High School, said that in some cases, students travelling from St James miss the school's first two morning classes.

"Since the state of emergency started, more students are coming late. The first session begins at 8 a.m., and by the time these students get to school, we (have already) finished one or two sessions," said Grant. "We have students reaching school as late as 10 a.m. because they can't get any drive."

Grant said the school is trying to partner with specific buses that would transport the students rather than have them taking just any bus.

Jasmine Beckford-Johnson, the principal at Bethel Primary and Junior High School, said the state of emergency affects the entire running of the school.

"Teachers will have to hold classes for other teachers, and our classes have about 35 students to one teacher. So if a teacher is from St James, and that teacher is not here, we are looking at close to 80 students with another teacher," said Beckford-Johnson.

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