Mon | Nov 18, 2019

MoBay basic school gets computer literacy boost

Published:Sunday | September 29, 2019 | 12:21 AM

In a setting where children aged three to 12 are already immersed in day-to-day technology through the use of cell phones and tablets as they use gaming apps or watch YouTube videos for entertainment, this also now applies to basic and preparatory-level schools.

It is for this reason that Bright Horizon Basic School principal Valerie Wade decided to reach out to GK Insurance (GKI) for sponsorship so that she could replace the old, defunct computers in the school’s computer lab. The veteran teacher and administrator operates the Montego Bay-based institution alongside her husband, Horace, as they cater to a total of 66 students from the Catherine Hall, Hopewell, and Granville areas.

Wade, a past Early Childhood Commission honouree, said, “I did the sponsorship letter, and my husband took it and reached out to [GKI’s MoBay branch].” Luckily for the Wades, the company that functions as the insurance arm of the GraceKennedy Group focuses its corporate social responsibility on early-childhood education. GKI, in response, donated three Hewlett-Packard computer units and a printer for use in the school’s new computer room, which, up until recently, served as the principal’s office.

Nadia Mitchell, who heads the insurance company’s Montego Bay branch, was all too happy to further the Wades’ cause. She said, “Bright Horizon has been in operation for 13 years and has been seeing good results. They are right in our backyard, so we wanted to help as a supporter of the community.”

Wade’s mission is to do exactly that and prepare her students for the future. “I am so happy because this is what I really wanted. The computers help us to teach them.”

She continued: “Somebody has to dedicate their lives [to this]. I’ve done 42 years in early childhood at different schools. Now, I’m near retirement. Nobody pays me. I’m just giving a service; I’m giving back to society. Some [students] even come without any school fee, and, because it’s the children, I won’t tell them, ‘Don’t come in’.”