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JPS invests in homework centre

Published:Tuesday | May 29, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Nagra Plunkett, Assignment Coordinator


The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) has demonstrated its commitment as a social-development stakeholder with its investment in the Farm Heights/Rose Heights Homework Centre in Montego Bay, St James.

"JPS has an essential role to play as a partner in Jamaica's development ... . We strongly believe that our role goes beyond providing electricity for homes and businesses. JPS' links to communities go beyond wires and poles," explained Kelly Tomblin, the company's president and chief executive officer.

"We have chosen to support the homework centre as it allows us to deliver on our commitment to contribute to the education of our young while helping in the development of the wider community."

The light and power company has investment $2.5 million in addition to its provision of computers, Internet service and costs for the administrative staff at the centre, which was officially opened on Sunday.

The company also two similar facilities attached to schools in Old Harbour, St Catherine and Kingston, respectively.

The JPS Farm Heights/Rose Heights Centre, which was established in partnership with the Social Development Commission (SDC), already has a student population of 70. It also provides Internet access and other services to community members at a small fee.

Successful partnership

The partnership also cements the union of the Farm Heights and Rose Heights communities, which has some 2,500 households. The union has also given birth to the Heights Marching Band that features prominently in cultural and civic events across the parish of St James.

For 15-year-old Danisha Salmon of the Rose Heights community, the homework centre is her doorway to information communication technologies.

"The centre helps me a whole lot in doing online research and school projects, as I don't have a computer at home," shared the grade-nine student of Cambridge High School. "I feel very proud. I am sure that others benefiting feel the same way, and I hope that more students utilise the centre."

Community member and justice of the peace, Josiah Duncan, is urging persons with special skill sets to give back at the centre.

"We have retired teachers from the community volunteering at the centre to help the children with extra classes," Duncan said. "When we started the Farm Heights Citizens' Association, this was one of the projects that we thought of doing. so I'm really glad that JPS came on board. The community really appreciates it."