The celebration of Teachers’ Day (May 8), at St. Michael’s Primary School in Kingston, was highlighted by the presentation of 10 computers to the institution by information technology firm, GTECH Jamaica.
To greatly enhance the learning and teaching capacities at the school, the computers, valued at approximately US$15,000, were presented to the Principal, Dave Allen, by GTECH’s Caribbean Regional General Manager, Ann-Dawn Young Sang, during a brief ceremony at the school.
The donation forms part of GTECH’s After School Advantage Programme, through which the firm provides computers and supporting software and services to schools and other institutions, to facilitate access to information, through technology, by young people and their teachers.
A key component of the programme is the establishment of after school centres, primarily computer labs, through partnerships between GTECH and beneficiary institutions. St. Michael’s is the fifth school where this facility has been created.
In her remarks at the ceremony, Mrs. Young Sang said GTECH’s goal is ensuring that every child in institutions benefitting from the after school advantage programme has access to the best technology provisions.
In this regard, Mrs. Young Sang gave GTECH’s commitment to a long-term relationship with St. Michael’s, to ensure that the school’s technology framework is kept up to date with the latest developments.
Meanwhile, Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, welcomed GTECH’s gesture, noting that it is akin to the government’s vision for increased use of technology in education.
“We are on a mission…to change the experience in the classrooms and to enable Jamaican youngsters to be on the same level as youngsters anywhere else in the world who are using technology, not to continue to learn in the traditional way, but to try to create (inquiring) minds,” the Minister said.
“We now have to get our young people to want to inquire, to want to explore, (and) to want to innovate, using information that is available. And, that is what we have to do if we are going to transform our country,” he added.
For his part, the Principal expressed gratitude for the donation, describing the gesture as a “wonderful experience.”
“In the age of technology, we recognize that wherever you are, you can access information and be informed about any subject. We are very pleased that St. Michael’s has been given that opportunity to do so. GTECH has ensured that the students of St. Michael’s Primary will not be left behind,” he said.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Chairman of the school Board, Rev. Dr. Alton Tulloch, and Technology Specialist with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Ministry of Education, Dr. Melody Williams.
“We hope to see that as students use this technology, over time, they will improve in their reading, in their math, and in other subject areas. We also believe that the technology will meet the special needs of students, those who are, maybe, struggling readers, or those who are challenged in other subject areas,” Dr. Williams said.
Contact: Douglas McIntosh