The island’s sole electricity company GRENLEC has extended a hand of charity to one of the nations primary schools allowing it to be completely in tune with technology and its benefits.
A total of $70,673 was used by GRENLEC to provide a state of the art Multimedia Centre to the St Andrew’s Roman Catholic School.
The project was approved in 2014, and provided 17 new Lenovo all-in-one computers, 1 Dell Server, 24 new chairs, 2 Air-Condition Units, and an upgraded electrical system.
The room, which is one of the results of GRENLEC’s Community Partnership Initiative (GCPI) was officially commissioned and handed over to the school on 23 January.
Recognizing that the world is evolving and even the youngest should not be left behind, Distribution Manager of GRENLEC, Eric Williams, said it that the company is commitment to support education through Science and Technology. “The lab will assist all students with special emphasis on vulnerable, through more interactive teaching and learning. It will also facilitate easier access to research for CPEA projects, provide teachers easier access to information and other benefits of technology as a teaching and learning aid,” he explained.
Principal of the school, Barbara Simmons, expressed her greatest thanks to GRENLEC as she said that the project has made it possible for any class in the school to sit and learn in areas of the curriculum deemed necessary by the teacher. “I believe that the earlier children are taught to use technology responsibly and effectively, the better use they would make of it. Just as fire, technology can be a useful servant but a dangerous master,” she said.
Simmons further stated that computer labs such as the one GRENLEC provided can be used to educate parents so as to help them monitor and assist their students to use technology effectively and carefully so as to avoid negative outcomes.
This provision by GRENLEC has also made it possible for the School to meet the requirement of The Ministry of Education’s SEED initiative, of which the strategic plan is for all students leaving the school system at the end of at least 12 years of formal schooling be functionally and computer literate.
In this regard, Area Education Officer, Astra Frank McKenzie, thanked GRENLEC for making this a reality at that school. “As educators we are constantly exploring ways to help our students experience success, and today we are indeed pleased we have more tools to help us facilitate their success. Indeed, in recent years, educators have been noting the fact that we are faced with the challenge of educating 21st first century students without the tools to grasp their interest and attention in ways that appropriately prepare them to navigate this 21st century environment when they leave school,” she explained.
“In the economic environment that exists today and the challenge for the Ministry of Education and schools to provide the necessary infrastructure to provide these tools… thankfully, with friends like GRENLEC who are dedicated to supporting the development of the education sector, and more specifically pouring into the lives of students in communities, this can become a reality,” she continued. She encouraged the students to make full use of the lab but to use it for their educational benefit.
This was a long-awaited gesture by the students and teachers of the school and this is what some of the students had to say about it:
“I feel glad because it will help us with our school work and finding what I don’t know,
“I feel excited so we can learn more how to use computers, learn educational things, I think it might help us to do better in life,
“I feel very excited because I will be able to learn new things on the computer, math language history. I will be able to learn different things that the CPEA exam will give me.”
Some of the other beneficiaries of GRENLEC’s Community Partnership Initiative are: the St Andrew’s Anglican Secondary School (SAASS) which received and energy efficiency and renewable project that will be launched soon; the St John’s Secondary School received a new auditorium which will be launched this year; and the St. Mark’s Secondary School received a Resource Centre that was launched in 2013.