The Full Story
More than 1,000 students from two primary and one secondary school in St. James are the beneficiaries of information and communications technology (ICT) equipment donated by the United States (US) Southern Command Humanitarian Assistance Programme.
The equipment, valued at US$15,000, consists of three heavy-duty multifunction printers and three interactive whiteboards.
They were presented to Spot Valley High and Barrett Town and John Rollins Success Primary Schools at a ceremony held at Spot Valley High, on June 6.
The National Education Trust (NET) facilitated the donation of the equipment.
Bringing greetings on behalf of Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams, Regional Director, Region 4 in the Ministry, Dr. Michelle Pinnock, said the donation will boost the sector’s strategic thrust to ensure that students are empowered through technology.
“The Ministry of Education and Youth takes very seriously the technological improvement required in each school and understands that in order for children and young people to be prepared for their future, we have to start in the Jamaican classroom,” she said.
Dr. Pinnock noted that the donation is timely, as the Ministry’s western region has been employing varying methods, including robotics, to ignite a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in schools.
“We in western Jamaica believe that through STEM education, once we are able to motivate our young people to get them thinking critically, getting them collaborating and getting them communicating with others, then our creativity will take us to the next level,” she said.
The Regional Director assured that the beneficiary schools will handle the equipment with care and implored teachers at the institution to “use them to ensure the upliftment of our young persons”.
For her part, Combatant Commander, United States Southern Command, General Laura Richardson, said the donation represents the continued commitment and strong partnership between Jamaica and the US.
General Richardson outlined that the donation is intended to help increase greater access to STEM education and provide an enabling environment that better prepares Jamaican students to become future innovators.
“If Spot Valley High, Barrett Town Primary and John Rollins Success… are to provide STEM education, they must have the latest technology to effectively teach their students. With the donation of the interactive whiteboard and multifunctional printers, teachers will be able to teach students based on their learning styles and improve their ability to consume and apply information,” she said.
Expressing gratitude for the ICT equipment, Principal of Barrett Town Primary, Anthony Murray, said the donation will increase the capacity of the institutions to better deliver STEM education in the classroom.
“For Jamaican schools to provide First-World education to students, so that they can match the global market, our schools must be equipped with high-quality training equipment and resources to aid in the delivery of the curriculum, and as such, your donation is a step in the right direction,” he said.