When many persons hear about Mandeville, the last place that comes to mind is the Albion Community. A small district located near the May Day District is home to the 124-year-old institution, Albion Primary School. The school founded by the Ebenezer United Church has records that date back to as far as 1894 when the school officially started registering students. To date, the school is seen as a landmark to the residents of Albion, Hillside, May Day, Tulsa Road and Beltline communities.
With one hundred and sixty-five (165) students and six (60 permanent classroom teachers today, it is fair to say that the institution has plans of closing its doors soon. The school building was previously a mission house used for accommodating parishioners of the United Church and is rumoured to have been a place where students were also educated now has six (6) classrooms, one for each grade, a staff room, a computer room, principal’s office and a guidance counselor’s office. The building also has a canteen and a total of two bathrooms.
The school has been living up to its motto “strive for excellence” by producing exemplary graduates to schools like Manchester High, Bishop Gibson High, Decarteret College, Knox High, Hampton High and recently the Mt St Joseph Catholic High. Although small in size the school’s accomplishments are huge, leaving members of the community with equally huge bragging rights. The school has entered public speaking competitions, science competitions, sporting competitions and participated in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) 2013 and was awarded for music. They were also awarded champion of the 2010 Junior Debate Competition and placed second in 2009 and 2011. They further went on to win the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWA) clean school competition in the parish and the region and has been aiming to maintain that title ever since.
According to Opal Blake a resident of the Albion District “I use to go to Albion School, my parents use to go to Albion School, two of my children went to Albion School and I have a daughter attending Albion School right now” Blake added “ two of my daughter graduated for traditional high schools so it is clear that the teachers are doing something right around there, it is good when you have a school right in your community that you can be proud of and you don’t have to go outside of the area to send the children to school.”
To date, the institution is respected by many because of its longevity and impact on the community and residents hope to develop the institution’s facilities with the aid of the government’s cooperation/assistance. Residents while speaking to the Central Lifestyle Magazine emphasized the school’s need for proper roofing and assistance to improve the schools playing field in an attempt to give the children a competitive chance in sporting activities. The school year will come to an end on December 14, 2018, when they will host their “Chicken-Affairs” and fun day, residents of the Albion District welcomes with open arms outsiders that would like to attend.