Schools to get help from unlikely source - bottled water
Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer
Schools have been given another source of help to combat limited financial resources following the launch of the Support In Public Schools initiative (SIPS) recently.
Under the SIPS initiative, Reelexo Enterprise Limited will establish symbiotic partnerships with a number of secondary schools across the island-assigning each school its own uniquely branded bottle of SIPS Spring Water.
This allows past students, the community and current students to support their own school brand, thereby enabling them to support their school simply by purchasing a bottle of SIPS, the profits from which are then shared with the respective school. Some of the schools that have already joined the initiative are Kingston College and Charlie Smith High School.
"This is the first of many initiatives intended to bring capacity across various groups within the society," said Courtnay Daley, chairman at Reelexo Enterprise.
"The love and loyalty that Jamaicans hold for their alma maters is no secret, yet many have for a long time lacked an avenue for participation. SIPS provides the solution by enabling a wider group of individuals to contribute while lessening the burden on the few who have been committed to contribute," he added.
Daley also noted that through SIPS, schools would be provided with guaranteed revenue without being over-reliant on unpredictable donations.
Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites lauded the initiative for the opportunities it will provide.
"There is a well-established phenomenon in developed economies called social enterprise, and I believe that we are advancing that concept here. It is an understanding that the purpose of business is indeed to provide a return for shareholders and to provide employment for workers," he said.
"This is very important because this is a specific attempt to not only act as an optional business model, but it is also something that is critical to success and something that is not done when everything else has failed," Thwaites continued.
He also stated that Reelexo Enterprise Limited was setting a model for enterprise in Jamaica, one which he hopes will be highly infectious.
"The education sector in Jamaica thrives off the enormous goodwill of a vast number of organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors," Thwaites said.
"That is the history and the current reality; this is but the latest manifestation of the same spirit and conviction that the only legitimate means of upward mobility in society is through education and that it is pivotal," he continued.