This week our host Tony took us to visit the local public school
Dave with John and Ruth Janzen another couple from Winnipeg who arrived this week to volunteer at the Resource Centre
where the majority of children we tutor at the Runaway Bay Resource Centre are students.
We saw piles of trash that hasn’t been picked up by civic employees in a long time and half-finished classrooms there is no money to complete. There were classes of children left unattended because their teacher was sick and there is no money to pay a substitute. Children ran to take cover in doorways when it started to rain.
Dave and Tony chat with the physed teacher and watch some boys playing soccer
Some boys were playing soccer barefoot. There were spelling words painted onto the walls for each grade. The lists like this one for grade ones were interesting. It included words like defecate, deity, poison and responsibilities
Chatting with the principal who kindly left a meeting to greet us
The principal told us he will need to divide a class of thirty-five children up among the other teachers in his building when their teacher leaves next month to have a baby. There is no money to pay her replacement. The library and computer lab are closed because there is no money to replace lost and damaged books and no one in Runaway Bay knows how to fix the computers even if they had money to pay for repair.
Masha is one of the girls who comes to our Resource Centre
Our kids were so excited to see us at their school and many came up to visit and ask us to come and see their classrooms.
JoseeAnn and Rojo two of the students I tutor in my group at the Resource Centre. They are even wearing their Resource Centre T-shirts.
Children seemed to be roaming around freely even though it wasn’t a break time.
Ruth checks out the children’s notebooks.
In some classrooms they were copying notes off the board. We looked at their notebooks and their handwriting was beautiful. I was surprised to see the full notebooks of advanced material that had been copied off the board by a number of children I tutor at the centre who I know can barely read.
Dave and Tony chat with friendly students
The teachers and students were very friendly.
All the walls outside were painted with mottos and charts and maps.
There was no playground equipment and the children washed their hands and drank from these outdoor spigots.
Spanish is the second language taught in Jamaican schools and Dave chatted with the Spanish teacher who comes in to work with each class once a week. Vendors sell things like candy and chips and drink boxes to the children. They used to have their shops just outside the school yard on the street but the children were sneaking out to buy things from them and it wasn’t safe for the kids on the busy street so the vendors were invited onto the school grounds.The children seemed free to go and buy candy from these vendors whenever they wanted. It’s hurricane season in Jamaica and this partially erased outdoor chalkboard gave the children and teachers instructions about what to do in the event of a hurricane. I admired the work many teachers had done to try to make their classrooms look bright and attractive. Our host Tony Beach is obviously appreciated at the school because he has helped them out in the past with donations.
Me and Rosemary one of our students at the Resource Centre
It was good for us to visit the children we work with at the Resource Centre at their public school. It gave us a much better understanding of the kind of education they’ve been receiving.
Other posts about children in Jamaica…..
A Day in the Life of the Runaway Bay Resource Centre
Mrs. Brown’s Daycare
The Remarkable Story of the Runaway Bay Resource Centre