JIS News

Holy Trinity High School is on the way to improved academic results, with the assistance of technology, and teachers being able to “walk” with laptop computers for use in classes.

Some 300 seventh graders will also benefit from 20 new Internet-enabled desktop computers, which have been installed in the school’s reading room.

A total of 45 computers were formally handed over to the institution in Kingston, on Tuesday, March 12, by representatives of William Charter High School in Philadelphia, in the United States.

Education Minister, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, who witnessed the handing over, noted that the school was described in the past as falling behind, but is now leading the secondary school system in the improvement of Grade Seven Literacy.

“If we do not deal with appropriate numeracy and literacy interventions at the Grade Seven level, we are courting failure at the higher grades…therefore young people, you’re being given a tremendous advantage – don’t watch where you come from – consider where you can be at the end of Grade Seven, so that you can be good students in any subject,” he told the students.

The Minister emphasised that this is a “big opportunity” which can be duplicated in schools across the country.

“We want to ensure that schools recognize the importance of not just taking in grade seven students and moving them through the system – but making the appropriate individual interventions. The technology that you have been given today, affords you the opportunity to do that,” he said.

Principal, Margaret Bolt, welcomed the donation.

“We really want to use technology to drive improvement in literacy and we also want to be able to assist our teachers to engage in using technology. Many times they don’t have the facility in their rooms. We have a lot of technical areas, and so the teachers want to be able to walk with the technology into the workshops,” she told JIS News.

She explained that William Penn Charter High School has also made available two technical persons for installation, and to train the teachers in using the technology. The Grade Seven students use the reading room up to three times per week.

Meanwhile, Manager of Technology and Network Services at William Penn Charter High, Paul Blackwood, said the collaboration came about from connection with the Principal years ago, while she was at another institution.

“This is the first phase of what we are trying to do. The reading lab was in need of being refurbished, so that was our project to refurbish with desktop computers and then give the heads of department laptops, so they could become a mobile workforce,” he said.

Mr. Blackwood further informed that e-mail accounts have been established for all members of the Holy Trinity faculty, with a view to creating accounts for all the students over time.

“We believe that by having a presence and point of contact on the web, the stakeholders who want to be vested in the total development of the school will have that point of contact, and see that the school has a professional presence,” he said.

The cost for the batch of computers is approximately US$10,000.

By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporters