Students at the Independence City Primary School in Portmore, St. Catherine, now have increased access to computer equipment, which is expected to enhance the literacy and numeracy programmes at the institution.
The equipment, valued at US$15,000, was donated by the Embassy of Chile and include lap top computers, printers, projectors, among others.
Speaking at the official handing over ceremony at the school on June 28, State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, said the equipment will provide the children with greater exposure to information technology.
“We are quite happy that you have indicated that your legacy going forward is to partner with this school, so that the children here can benefit from that co-operation between the Government and the people of Chile and the Government and the people of Jamaica,” he said.
Mr. Brown, who is also Member of Parliament for the area (East Central St. Catherine), said the investment being made will benefit the future of Jamaica and will ultimately have many returns.
He informed that Jamaica and Chile have had a cordial relationship over the years and commended the Embassy for its assistance.
For his part, Chilean Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Alfredo Garcia said the donation will help students become successful in their education. “If you don’t have the tool, if you don’t have the means to deal with education, it is not easy, so we are helping with this element,” he said.
Expressing thanks, Principal of the school, Jasenta Jarrett O’Connor, commended the Embassy for the equipment, noting that it will assist with the computer programmes at the school.
With a capacity of 800 students, Independence City Primary, built in the mid-1970s, caters to students from communities mainly in Portmore, Kingston and Spanish Town.
The school has raised its Grade Four Literacy Test result from 69 per cent in 2010 to 80 per cent in 2011.
It is hoped that with the additional computers, the school’s performance in both the Grade Four Literacy Test and the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) will be improved.
The computers will also assist the children to access GoGSAT online while in classes.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter