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Second phase of Apps project launched at Barracks Road Primary

Published:Saturday | May 31, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Dr George Koshy, founder of GreenContributor, and some visiting members of his team, are joined by president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce, Nathan Robb, and Indian High Commissioner to Jamaica Pratap Singh.

Karrie Williams, Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:Phase two of the Barracks Road Primary School's apps project got under way on Monday, with the presentation of a (trailer) container from the Canada-based environmental support organisation, GreenContributor.

The container will be transformed into an energy-efficient resource centre, which the school will use initially as a library and reading room. Ultimately, it will become a housing area for the school's computer tablets, which were received in phase one of the project.

Phase one of the project was launched last November when GreenContributor donated 20 computer tablets to the school, following a recommendation by Aunt Elsie's Home Stays, a New Jersey-based mission that facilitates accommodation for foreign students in the United States.

The final phase of the project will see a health app, currently under development by GreenContributor, being loaded on to the tablets to further enhance students learning.

"We are elated," said Nadine Gibbs, ICT project coordinator at the Barracks Road Primary School. "The designs that we've seen have shown us how we can use something that would probably go to waste - in terms of the containers - and transform them into beautiful and more cost-effective learning environment."

Founder of GreenContributor, Dr George Koshy, said the use of the container to construct the school's resource centre was done to show the world sustainable ways of creating additional space.

"Phase two of the whole project is to come up with something unique that can be replicated as a sustainable model anywhere in the world ... . The containers then have to be designed in such a way that they are sustainable, scalable, expandable, something unique, and very cost-efficient," he said.

Transformation process

The transformation of the container is being spearheaded by students from the Dr Bhanuben Nanavati College of Architecture in Pune, India. The students, along with their lecturer, Dr Asmita Joshi, visited the school on Monday and submitted architectural designs for the transformation process.

The designs are in line with environmentally sustainable practices and include aspects such as green roofing, use of solar panels to generate power, and strategic shade and ventilation approaches.

"The moment we heard about this project introduced to our school, it was an opportunity we did not want to miss because, how many times in your life do you get to go to another country to help people, including primary school children, to get education, which I think is the right of every child?" commented third-year student Ruchi Pahuja.