Esher, Unity primary schools to get computer smart-rooms
THE HANOVER-based Esher Primary School and the Westmoreland-based Unity Primary School are to soon benefit from the creation of computer smart-rooms at those institutions, courtesy of the Digicel Jamaica Foundation.
Representatives of the two primary schools signed memorandums of understanding [MOU] with the Digicel Jamaica Foundation and the Ministry of Education Region Four for the creation of the units, which are each valued at US$60,000 (J$9.2 million), in a ceremony at the Jamaica Teachers’ Association’s western regional office in Montego Bay, St James, on Wednesday.
Anthonette Wright, principal of the Esher Primary School, was grateful that her school was selected for the project.
“Today is a wonderful day in the life of Esher Primary School, as the implementation of technology, and most importantly the inclusion of teaching and learning, is a priority in the 21st century. Today we are overjoyed as this marks the beginning of a solid partnership for growth and development with the Digicel Foundation,” said Wright. “We are excited, but we are also humbled because there are several other primary schools in the parishes of Hanover, St James and Westmoreland, and we were selected as the beneficiaries of this project.”
Dawnett Hall-Beharie, principal of Unity Primary School, said that her school’s being selection to receive a smart-room was timely, as the institution’s computer lab is in need of an upgrade.
“As we administer the curriculum to maximise the abilities of our students in numeracy and literacy, we understand the value of information and communication technology [ICT] in developing students’ creativity, and we know that creativity in this time is an invaluable attribute. Since our school has an outdated computer lab, this initiative from which we will benefit is both timely and relevant,” Hall-Beharie remarked.
BRIDGING THE GAP
Wednesday’s signing of the MOUs is a culmination of the Digicel Jamaica Foundation’s previous pledge in 2021 for the creation of smart-rooms for its 10 targeted primary schools island-wide, with the objective of improving literacy and numeracy and improving students’ digital education.
Each smart-room comes equipped with 12 laptops and 12 tablets with headset connections, along with a smart screen and a commercial printer.
Charmaine Daniels, the chief executive officer of the Digicel Jamaica Foundation, said that over her organisation’s 19-year history, it has maintained its objective of enhancing students’ educational prospects.
“Since our inception in 2004, Digicel Foundation has remained steadfast in its commitment to promoting equitable access to education for all. We firmly believe that education is a fundamental right, and that it should be accessible to every child regardless of their circumstances,” said Daniels.
“Unfortunately, many communities face significant educational challenges such as limited resources and inadequate infrastructure. Recognising this critical issue, our focus to bridging the gap, and in this case the digital gap, and empowering the students with the tools that they need is very important to us at Digicel Foundation,” Daniels added.
To date, three primary schools within the Ministry of Education Region Four have benefited from the Digicel Foundation’s smart-room project, with the St James-based Anchovy Primary School having previously signed its own MOU for the creation of its new computer room.