To express his gratitude to Jamaica for the honour of the Order of Jamaica, Chairman and founder of Digicel Group, Denis O’Brien and his family, have completed the renovation of three schools in Jamaica - Tivoli Gardens High School (TGHS) and St. Michael’s Primary School in Kingston and Maud McLeod High School in Westmoreland.
On Monday February 26, students, teachers and members of the community gathered at the Tivoli Gardens High School in Kingston, to celebrate the renovation undertaken by Mr O’Brien.
The event which was attended by Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, as well as Member of Parliament for Tivoli Gardens, Hon. Desmond McKenzie and the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, was held in an atmosphere of joy and reverence.
“It’s a real pleasure to have been able to work with you to help provide you with a safe and positive environment where you can learn, flourish and grow, because there really is no more important time in your life than right now,” Mr. O’Brien said.
He added, “The work you put in here at your school, the effort you make, the way you conduct yourselves, what you take and learn from others, the friendships you forge – all of those things will set you on a path to your future….a future I wish for you to be bright and full of hope and promise. I encourage you to grasp each and every opportunity to learn, grow and develop.”
Digicel’s Chief Speed Officer and the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, who was ushered in by cheers from the school community, imparted the value of hard work to the students at TGHS.
In an inspirational message to the students, Bolt said, “Anything is possible. Don’t think limits. One thing I’ve learnt is, if you want to be great, you have to work and push yourself, it never comes easy. I never thought I would be the world’s fastest man. But with the effort and talent that I have, I worked at it and pushed myself and now I am the fastest man in the world. Always work for what you want never give up because you never know where it might take you.”
Principal of Tivoli Gardens High School, Aldrick Durrant, announced that he has already noticed a “marked improvement in attendance” over the past year. With this and the newly improved facilities in mind, Minister of Education, Senator Ruel Reid, reiterated the government’s commitment towards supporting the overall maintenance of the newly upgraded areas.
The Digicel Foundation retrofitted laboratories with assorted ICT equipment, furnished classrooms, erected a greenhouse, upgraded the school’s irrigation and water supply systems, built a gazebo, renovated and installed new appliances in the canteen, repainted the buildings, established a dedicated parking lot and repaved the TGHS campus.
At St. Michael’s Primary, the Foundation built a new entrance, established an enrichment room, installed tanks and water pumps, renovated bathrooms and gave facelift to several buildings.
Maud McLeod High School now boasts a brand new guardhouse, a comfortable seating area for students to have lunch, a renovated canteen, an improved plumbing system, new classroom furniture and a greenhouse. The school also received 400 tablets and desktop computers.
These improvements to school infrastructure as well as investments in educational resources, result in a more comfortable and secure learning environment for the students to realise their full potential.