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West Kingston School Benefits from Digicel Foundation Enrichment Programme

Published:Friday | April 24, 2015 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
Ronald Thwaites (left), Minister of Education, Denise Herbol (centre), mission director of the United States Agency for International Development and David Butler (third right), CEO of Digicel Jamaica, play a game with Tamia Longford (second right) and Tremaine Samuels - students of Central Branch All-Age School in Kingston on Tuesday.

Central Branch All-Age School, located on the border of western Kingston and south St Andrew, along Slipe Pen Road in Kingston, is the recent beneficiary of literacy interventions being implemented islandwide by the Digicel Foundation, in partnership with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The programme, in support of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of attaining 85 per cent literacy by 2015, is designed to integrate information and communication technology (ICT) and more individualised instruction for students.

Grades one to three students who are having difficulty in achieving their grade level in reading benefit from this programme that utilises differentiated teaching methods to improve the learning and teaching experience designed to meet the learning needs of these students.

US$1.9 million is being provided to the centre under an ongoing enrichment programme between Digicel Foundation and the USAID, which commenced in 2013. The Enrichment Initiative was first launched in partnership with the MOE in 2009.

Chief Executive Officer of Digicel Jamaica, David Butler, said the results from the programme are remarkable and provide further motivation for the Digicel Foundation to do more to address and improve underperformance in reading at the primary level.

"In other words, how do we make the Enrichment Programme even more effective and sustainable so that more students continue to have an opportunity to develop and perform to their fullest potential," Butler said.

Denise Herbol, USAID'S mission director, said partnerships were crucial in assisting the country's children to excel, and commended the Digicel Foundation for meeting and exceeding its target originally envisaged under the programme.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com