Saturday 15 December, 2018

Kingston Rotary Club helps Garden Hill Primary meet national standards

Students of Garden Hill Primary School, St. Catherine get help from their principal Shakira Hansel-Hudson (left) during the official handing over of 8 computers, a printer and furniture in their new computer lab by representatives of the Rotary Club of Kingston and Murabeni Caribbean Power.

Students of Garden Hill Primary School, St. Catherine get help from their principal Shakira Hansel-Hudson (left) during the official handing over of 8 computers, a printer and furniture in their new computer lab by representatives of the Rotary Club of Kingston and Murabeni Caribbean Power.

The major project of the Rotary Club of Kingston to install a computer lab and construct a covered walkway at the Garden Hill Primary School, in West Rural St. Catherine, has come at a time when the school needed certain amenities to meet the Ministry of Education’s National Standards Curriculum requirements.

The club spent a total of $2.5 million to paint and equip an existing space for a computer lab and donated eight computers for both students and teachers, together with a printer and furniture to facilitate the preparation of homework and lessons.  In addition, a covered walkway has been constructed leading from the main school building to the bathrooms.

Yu Numasawa (left) of Marubeni Caribbean Power Inc cuts the ribbon to officially open the newly built walkway at the Garden Hill Primary School, while Linval Freeman (second right), President of the Rotary Club of Kingston and Shakira Hansel-Hudson (right), school principal look on.

An official handing over ceremony was held at the school on Friday, November 30.

“In the past, students heading to the bathrooms were exposed to rain and sun.  So, we are very grateful to the Rotary Club of Kingston for responding to our needs in this way. Also, without the computers, our students were unable to complete their projects because they do not have internet access at home,” said Shakira Hansel-Hudson, principal of the Garden Hill Primary School.

She said most of the teachers on staff ARE computer literate and would be able to assist students in the use of the computers.  In addition, Hansel-Hudson said the computers would also greatly assist teachers in carrying out research in the preparation of their lessons.

President of the Rotary Club of Kingston, Linval Freeman, said the Garden Hill Primary was selected because it was his alma mater and presented an opportunity for him to give back to the community through Rotary.

“Unfortunately, schools in deep rural Jamaica often times do not benefit from donations from service clubs, because these organisations tend to concentrate their efforts in the urban areas,” Freeman said.

He noted that computer literacy was important for the future of Jamaican children, who can find themselves at a disadvantage when they transition to high schools where computer literacy is mandatory.

“The Garden Hill Primary School is located in a poor farming community where the parents cannot afford to contribute in a significant way to the institution, so I thought I would provide service above self, along with members of the Rotary Club of Kingston to assist in making the lives of the students a teachers a little better,” said Freeman.

Yu Numasawa of Murabeni  Corporation, owners/operators of JPS since 2007 and the major sponsor of this Rotary Club of Kingston project, through its affiliated company Marubeni Caribbean Power Inc., said Jamaica had a higher development index compared with other countries.

He said Murabeni Corporation had taken a great interest in the development of Jamaica.  “Therefore, we are more than happy to contribute to this programme and hope students will enjoy and benefit from the computer facilities here,” he noted.

The Garden Hill Primary School has a student population of 133, including an infant department.

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