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Story Highlights

  • Students at the Windsor Castle All-Age School in Portland and Horace Clarke High in St. Mary will enter the 2016/17 academic year with newly outfitted science laboratories.
  • The labs are equipped with burettes, microscopes, flasks, skeletal structures, science kits, among other items.
  • “A science lab is key to developing concepts and cognitive abilities and understanding the nature of science and scientific attitudes,” - Senior Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Garfield King

Students at the Windsor Castle All-Age School in Portland and Horace Clarke High in St. Mary will enter the 2016/17 academic year with newly outfitted science laboratories.

The facilities were provided under the European Union (EU)-funded Improving Innovation Capacities in the Caribbean (INVOCAB) Project, which is managed by the Scientific Research Council (SRC).

They are equipped with burettes, microscopes, flasks, skeletal structures, science kits, among other items.

Windsor Castle and Horace Clarke High are the first of eight primary and secondary schools to benefit under the INVOCAB project.

Other institutions to receive labs are Bull Bay All-Age and Yallahs High in St. Thomas, Belle Castle Primary and Infant in Portland, Seaward Primary and Junior High in Kingston, Carron Hall in St. Mary, and Greater Portmore High in St. Catherine.

Senior Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Garfield King, in endorsing the project, noted that a robust science and technology education programme is critical for the country’s sustained development.

“Our education system must produce innovative problem-solvers,” he said.

Mr. King, who was addressing the commissioning ceremony held at Horace Clarke High, said the provision of science laboratories facilitates “hands-on and minds-on science experiences, which will stimulate interest in science and nurture innovativeness”.

“A science lab is key to developing concepts and cognitive abilities and understanding the nature of science and scientific attitudes,” he added.

Executive Director of the SRC, Dr. Cliff Riley, for his part, noted that the facilities will help to get children excited about mathematics and science, which are often viewed as boring, and equip them with problem-solving and crucial thinking skills.

The objective of the INVOCAB Project is to provide alternative modalities for the teaching of mathematics and science in order to improve Jamaica’s overall performance in these subjects at the primary and secondary levels.

There is also a focus on retraining teachers to enable them to inject more creativity, innovation and interactivity in their approach to teaching the subjects.

A key component of INVOCAB is the staging of residential summer science camps. This year, the camp was held at Church Teachers’ College in Mandeville.