Bethabara Primary benefits from Usain Bolt Foundation
With schools, particularly at the primary level, having to print material for students in high volumes, administrators at the Manchester-based Bethabara Primary School said they are grateful to have been one of 100 educational institutions selected to receive a high-end printer from the Usain Bolt Foundation.
In partnership with Athletics for a Better World, powered by the IAAF, the Usain Bolt Foundation will be donating 100 printers and 20 projectors to primary schools across Jamaica.
This level of corporate social responsibility, according to Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams, is necessary to help drive the advancement of the sector.
Williams, who was present for the handover session at the institution last Friday, commended the teachers for pivoting in the pandemic and helping children to maintain their learning despite the many challenges.
She added that it is still the goal of her ministry, in helping to meet the needs of those it serves, to ensure every student has a device and every teacher has a laptop as the blended approach to teaching and learning continues.
“We are going to go forward to help our students and teachers. There are many initiatives, some you know of and others to come. But all of us have to be accountable for our children’s learning. We can’t expect that our economy is going to do significantly better until we raise the educational level of the students that are entering into the work world, and it can be done.”
Principal of Bethabara, Cecil Hamilton, said, despite the limited resources, the school has been able to maintain its streak of academic excellence; successfully managing to steadily engage 70 per cent of the school’s population online, while finding other methods for those offline.
“I must say thanks to the Usain Bolt Foundation for making this contribution to the schools in Jamaica. We are happy to be one of the schools that was selected. I saw this (initiative) online but never knew we would have been a beneficiary.”
Hamilton, who indicated that the school is often treated as “an unwanted child due its political boundaries” along south and central Manchester, said the aim is to solidify the institution as a hub of excellence.
With face-to-face classes gradually resuming, the principal added that he is hoping the school will be supported in securing additional staff to ensure COVID protocols are being maintained and improving Internet service through access points across the institution, among other projects.
Manchester Central Member of Parliament Rhoda Crawford, who made the suggestion to the ministry that the institution receive the donation, also committed to donating 50 tablets to the institution, following consultations with the principal.
Crawford said she will be visiting all the institutions in the constituency to assess the needs first hand and provide resources where necessary.