Making school days count at Discovery Bay All Age School

The Discovery Bay All Age School in St. Ann, Jamaica was built to accommodate 350 students but enrolls as many as 600 in a given academic year. The school is so overcrowded, it has had to operate on a triple-shift system. This means less teaching time and a low-quality learning experience for students, despite teachers’ earnest efforts.

On May 20, a delegation from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), including members of the Board of Directors, staff, and development partners, visited the school for a tour. What they saw was an expansion and rehabilitation intervention by the Bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) nearing completion.


Discovery Bay All Age School Jamaica
Students of the Discovery Bay All Age School and the CDB delegation in one of the new classrooms.


Ahead of the 2016/2017 academic year, eight new classrooms have been built and equipped with new furniture. Students will no longer have to learn in makeshift classrooms, which had been set up outside in a hot, dusty area sandwiched between two shipping containers. Students with disabilities will also have better access to classrooms, now that four ramps have been built.

With the grant funding have come amenities that will also make it easier for teachers and school staff to do their jobs. More than 20 women who teach at the school do not have adequate bathroom facilities. Under the sub-project, a new sanitation block is under construction.

In addition, students will also return to a safer school, which was previously unfenced and open to vandals.


Discovery Bay All Age School, Jamaica
The new block at the Discovery Bay All Age School, which was completed under the sub-project.


The Discovery Bay All Age School is being expanded and rehabilitated under BNTF’s seventh cycle (BNTF 7). CDB contributed USD506,350 to the sub-project and the Government of Jamaica, USD26,650.

The school is among six similar sub-projects being implemented under BNTF 7 in Jamaica.

  • Browns Hall Primary Rehabilitation, Fencing and Sanitation
  • Christiana Moravian Primary School Expansion and Rehabilitation
  • Mandeville Primary School Expansion and Rehabilitation
  • Ocho Rios Expansion and Rehabilitation
  • Old Harbour Primary School Expansion and Rehabilitation

BNTF has committed USD3.8 million in funding to improve education outcomes in Jamaica. The overall BNTF 7 allocation for Jamaica was approved in October 2012 and totals USD7.85 million. An additional amount of USD1.92 million was approved under BNTF 8 in December 2014.  Some of this funding will go to other education and human resource development initiatives during 2016.