Parents of nursery-aged children, set to enter primary school from September, have been advised by the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development to apply to schools in the area where they live.
To facilitate this process, the Ministry has developed a booklet containing a listing of the catchment areas served by each primary school. Parents are urged by the Senior Education Officer (Nursery and Primary), Gertrude Welch, to contact principals of schools, to which they are applying, to verify if they (parents) are within the schools’ catchment area.
The booklet is very comprehensive in its detail on each school. ??For instance, a parent/guardian wanting his/her child/ward to enter Deacons Primary in St. Michael must reside in one of the following locations – Goodland; Brandons; Deacons (all areas, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); Deacons Farm Housing Area or Black Rock. Similarly, an application to the Roland Edwards School, located in St. Peter, should only be made by those living in Speightstown; Retreat; Ashton Hall; The Whim or Road View.
The Senior Education Officer has also encouraged parents/guardians to apply to more than one primary school, as there is no guarantee that a place will be available at any specific school.?? Moreover, the Ministry has pointed out that there is no automatic transfer from a nursery school to a primary school, where the two may be operating in the same environs (as is the case with Government Hill Nursery and Charles F Broome Primary schools).
According to Ms. Welch, the key aim is to ensure compliance with the Ministry’s programme on zoning. The purpose of zoning is to ensure that children attend school early on mornings and return home in similar fashion with safety being paramount. It also aims to maintain the linkages between school and community.
Application forms for primary schools should be obtained from the schools to which parents/guardians are applying and not the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development. Forms will be ready by the end of February and for most schools should be completed and returned to the principal’s office, by March 31.
Among the key items that must accompany the application form are the child’s birth certificate; health record/immunisation card; a passport-sized photograph of the child and, in the case of a non-national, a student visa.??