Technology has become inextricably tied with educational delivery making computers and the internet an indispensable asset to the classroom. Sandals Foundation’s ongoing charge to technologically equip educational institutions coupled with the realization that there were only four computers to service a student population of 620 young ladies resulted in a positive response to a donation request from St Joseph’s Convent (SJC).
On Friday, 12 August, the Foundation through its Women Helping Others Achieve programme (WHOA), responded in the nick of time to provide 20 computers to the all-girls public school.
Computer studies is taught throughout all grades, with the majority of fourth and fifth formers doing Information Technology at the CSEC level and utilizing computers in preparation for internal and external examinations.
Prior to receipt of the computer donations, multiple students have had to share a computer using a shift system to regulate use; other students have had to be satisfied with one visit to the lab every other week.
The dire need for computers was amplified with the emerging reality that the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) will in short order be dispensing with the use of paper and will require students to complete their exams electronically. In fact, this year fifth form students from St Joseph’s were selected to complete two pre-tests electronically.
“Tremendous gratitude for the timely intervention on the part of Sandals Foundation. This gift will go a long way towards increasing the variety of teaching and learning strategies available to teachers and students as we introduce ICT in our classrooms. At the St Joseph’s Convent we are committed to ensuring that our students do not get left behind in the digital divide. God bless Sandals!” expressed Christina Batson, head of the Information Technology department at SJC.
The donation to SJC falls under the umbrella of the Sandals Foundation Women Helping Others Achieve programme (WHOA) to which Cedella Marley is ambassador. WHOA is a women’s empowerment programme that supports women across the Caribbean to be inspired and possess strength and the necessary resources to transform their lives and in so doing, to positively impact their families and communities for generations.
Heidi Clarke, Director of Programmes expressed, “Education at all levels provides the greatest opportunity for positive change for individuals and our nations throughout the Caribbean. We are happy that we were able to assist this noble institution as they strive to provide their students with the best learning tools in order for them to realize their full potential.”