The Government of Japan has earmarked grant funding totalling J$15 million (US$135,223) to purchase two school buses for Tacius Golding High School in St. Catherine.
The allocation has been provided under the Japanese Government’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project.
The grant-signing ceremony was held at the residence of the Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica, His Excellency Hiromasa Yamazaki, in Kingston, on Wednesday (November 27).
In his remarks, Mr. Yamazaki noted that the provision of the buses is expected to ease transportation challenges for the students.
“I hope the students can feel more at ease going to school and arriving earlier with the addition of their own transportation. Good luck students. Do your best to stay in school and receive a good education,” he stated.
Ambassador Yamazaki pointed out that the Japanese Embassy endorsed the project wholeheartedly because “we highly value education in the conduct of our assistance to Jamaica”.
“It is our fundamental belief that all students must have access to the critical resources that will foster their academic growth and development,” he added.
Mr. Yamazaki noted that in this the 55th year of Japan-Jamaica diplomatic relations and friendship, “we are proud to partner with Jamaican authorities and people to intensify our work towards Jamaica’s socioeconomic development programmes, so that all citizens can fulfil their dream of a better tomorrow with hope”.
“Let us stand resolute in the knowledge that if we take the opportunity to better ourselves now, tomorrow shall be in great hands,” he added.
Minister of Health and Wellness and Member of Parliament for West Central St Catherine, where the school is located, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, expressed gratitude to the Government of Japan for its generosity in responding to the institution’s request.
“You have chosen a project that is worthwhile, that fills a gap, supports a need, recognises a talent that deserves support, and I believe the school will be better for it,” he stated.
For her part, Principal of Tacius Golding High, Lena Russell, noted that for the past 19 years, the acquisition of a bus has been a repeat item “on all our school improvement plans”.
“As the years elapsed, it seemed more unattainable, as the cost of motor vehicles spiralled further out of reach. Against this background, today’s function seemed almost surreal. But it is, indeed, a reality and we are immensely thankful to the people of Japan for this generous gesture via the Grassroots Human Security Programme,” she stated.