- The facility will foster critical and analytical thinking in students.
- Children from the earliest age possible should be exposed to facilities, which will allow them to think critically.
- The facility, built at a cost of $4 million, caters to children age three to six.
Minister of Education, the Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has hailed the opening of an engineering laboratory at the Mona Preparatory School, noting that the facility will foster critical and analytical thinking in students.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony on Wednesday, September 25, at the institution’s Old Hope Road premises, Rev. Thwaites said the lab “is far more appropriate for problem solving and analysis than it is for memorising and regurgitation.”
“It is engaging the technical and vocational aptitude of our students because all that we know of the 21st century is that no longer can we have this dangerous separation between the academic and the technical. Rather, we now have to have a balance between the two and here is Mona Prep saying…that this is the way to go,” he said.
He noted that children from the earliest age possible should be exposed to facilities, which will allow them to think critically, to prepare them “for the kind of job market and personal professional fulfilment that we need.”
The Education Minister commended the sponsors who contributed to the project, underscoring that donors play a crucial role in the continued advancement of institutions island-wide.
“There are 131 active alumni associations among our 1,100 or so public schools. We want to see more and more, that is the essential public partnership of which we speak,” he stated.
Chairman of the Mona Preparatory School Foundation, Dr. Heather Brown Henry, informed that the facility, built at a cost of $4 million, caters to children age three to six and will over time, be equipped to meet the needs of all students.
“We still need a lot more, it is not fully equipped by any means but the Foundation has undertaken to underwrite the cost of not just equipping it but maintaining and also tutoring the children. We only have things for the junior levels from grade three to six. We need more hardware, notebooks, computers, we need Lego that is appropriate to the older age students and there are a variety of other things it need as well,” she said.
Dr. Brown Henry said the laboratory was conceptualised as part of efforts to provide “more of a hands on learning for our students, for them to be able to use and transform the information that they have in science and maths (and) use it in critical thinking problem solving.”
Mona Preparatory School, formed under the auspices of the United Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, opened its doors September 22, 1964.
The school is a private institution whose mission is to provide a Christian environment in which students can learn and develop into well-rounded individuals who see service as an important part of their contribution to society.