Some seven million dollars has been invested in the island’s students and educational institutions for the 2019/2020 academic year.
The projects comprise a combination of $5 million dollars in school infrastructural upgrades and an additional $2 million dollars in book grants and scholarships.
Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at the Sandals Foundation says the infrastructural upgrades took place across seven schools and involved, “the outfitting of computer labs, repairing and upgrading computers, replacing classroom furniture, creating sick bays, upgrading bathrooms, surfacing play areas and erecting and repairing school fencing for improved security.”
School works, Clarke says, were executed at the Roseville Play and Learn Early Childhood Institution and Preparatory School in St. Elizabeth while in the neighbouring parish of Westmoreland - Culloden Infant School as well as Kings Primary School saw critical work being done. The Moneague Teacher’s College Basic School, Seville Golden Pre School and Stewart Town Basic School in St. Ann also received upgrades and finally, Constant Spring Primary in St. Andrew.
Mrs. Rosalee Campbell, Principal at Roseville Play and Learn Early Childhood Institution and Preparatory School expressed delight in the receipt of computers and furniture to establish an operating computer lab.
“We are so grateful for this gift which was born out of a letter written in May by our former Head Girl Anya Barracks. This computer lab will not only help transform the learning process for our students and teachers, but for parents and members of the wider community who wish to develop their computer skills.”
The activities form part of the Foundation’s strategic approach to developing an education system which aids in the holistic development of the nation’s children. “Today’s society not only requires the strategic development of a child's intellectual potential but also their emotional, social, artistic and creative capacity. Through targeted infrastructural improvements, we can create a nurturing physical space that enhances the learning environment to allow our children to achieve their full potential”. Clarke said.
This year, the Sandals Foundation celebrates 10 years of implementing educational programmes that see to the development of both adults and children. Through the continuous support of its partners and donors, close to 170,000 students and 578 schools have benefited from programmes since 2009.