The Information technology capability of several primary schools across the island has been boosted with a donation of 100 computers by the Caribbean Classic Golf Invitational (CCGI) Foundation.
The donation was made at a function at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, New Kingston, Friday (May 15).
Founder of CCGI, Richard Stephenson, said that the Foundation has spent more than US$500,000 to provide about 1,000 computers, establish 60 computer labs and rehabilitate several schools across the island, since 2004.
Minister of Education Hon. Andrew Holness, (centre) and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Hon. Olivia Grange (left), join a group of persons in posing with one of the 100 computers handed over by the Caribbean Classic Golf Invitational (CCGI), during a ceremony at the Hilton Kingston today (May 14). Also pictured are (from left): Principal of the Nightingale Grove Primary, Marva Edwards; music producer, Tommy Cowan; gospel singer, Carlene Davis; Founder of the CCGI Foundation, Richard Stephenson; and Vice-Chairman of the Nightingale Grove Primary, Caswell Daley. In the front are students of the school, Alexandra Brissitte (left) and Corriner Pryce.
Principal of Windward Road Primary School, east Kingston, Norman Malcolm, whose school is a past beneficiary, said the computers helped to boost literacy and numeracy levels among his students.
He added that the school has moved from a 75 per cent average, in the Grade Four Literacy Test, to an average of 85 per cent.
He also shared that the computers were helping teachers, and the school administration, in carrying out some of their functions.
“We have opened up the lab to the community and they too have been benefitting significantly from the donation,” he added.
Minister of Education Hon. Andrew Holness, the guest speaker, said that the National Education Trust Fund, which is to be set up by year end, will manage donations made by Jamaicans overseas for the development of education, in the future.
He cautioned that the full effect of the donations from Jamaicans overseas could be lost, if the effort is not co-ordinated.
Mr. Holness noted that the primary role of the Fund will be to: facilitate philanthropy; direct them into areas where the resources can achieve the greatest results; and co-ordinate the philanthropy that exists.
The Foundation was established in 2004 by Jamaican-born Stephenson, who now lives in California, in the United States, and stages cultural and sporting events in Montego Bay St. James each year.
Last year local artistes, including Busy Signal, Voice Mail and Carlene Davis, contributed their talent and were each rewarded with being allowed to name one of the schools which benefitted.
The charity has also attracted Government officials, including Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Olivia Grange, and top business executives as well as an A-list of American celebrities including Steve Harvey, Cedric The Entertainer and Anthony Anderson.
Miss Grange, who was associated with last year’s fundraisers, said that she was pleased with the success of the project. She also commended CCGI’s commitment to improving information technology in the schools, and promised her continued support.
This year’s promotions will take place at the Iberostar Rose Hall Beach and Spa Resort, Montego Bay, June 24- 27. The Foundation will try to raise enough funds to donate 400 Dell computers to schools and establish more computer labs this year.