Kingston, Jamaica – Wednesday, April 10, 2019: Students at St. Catherine High School in Spanish Town received a major improvement in the quality of their science education on April 10, when Digicel Foundation handed over an extensively renovated science laboratory and adjacent prep room to the school.
Distinguished alumna – The Most Hon. Juliet Holness, MP officially opened the fully modernized facility, which was admired by a delighted audience of students, teachers and staff. An enthusiastic Mrs Holness shared with the students the importance of Science and Technology as a driver of human capital development and empowerment. “STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is on the tongue of every developing and developed country, and we should have our share in that.”
Mrs Holness further congratulated the Digicel Foundation, and the school’s management for their continued investment in science education, noting that “If we are to be the people of the future – the innovators and creators of the future technology, then we have to start by training our students and no better place to start than my alma mater, St Catherine High.”
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Education, Youth any Information, Hon Karl Samuda, urged students to fully capitalise on the resources provided, noting the importance of science and technology to the country’s development.
“The opportunities that have opened up to you because off the advancement of technology, has put you in a new world, that offers endless opportunities for you at St Catherine High,” said Minister Samuda.
Principal of St. Catherine High School Marlon Campbell was elated at the shining, freshly redecorated new facility, which includes new sinks, Bunsen burners and other equipment, as well as new and refurbished furniture. “The refurbishing of the chemistry laboratory at St. Catherine High school is an awesome gesture by Digicel Foundation, embraced by the St. Catherine High Family,” he enthused.
“Our students are full of exuberance and zeal at the sight of the laboratory in its completed state. The new laboratory has already ignited a spirit of excellence and the psychology of learning has been shifted in the right gear…There is, now, an enthusiasm of readiness to enter the new space as the students prepare themselves for class.”
Mr. Campbell added: “It is our hope that as we continue to prepare our children to write their CAPE and CSEC examinations, that their grades will be a true reflection of the resources given.”
Chairman of the Digicel Foundation Jean Lowrie-Chin noted the significance of this handover for Foundation as it celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. To date, the Foundation has partnered with 11 high schools islandwide to renovate and equip them with science labs while donating an additional 44 mobile science labs to those schools with inadequate space for full science labs to offer quality science education to the students.
“It is a great joy that we are opening this beautifully renovated lab at one of the largest high schools in the Caribbean, which boasts our Prime Minister and his wife, a dynamic Member of Parliament among its alumni,” said Mrs. Lowrie-Chin
She further added, “We are also delighted to be giving back to our extraordinary partners through our 15th Anniversary campaign this year, during which we will be awarding J$30 million in grants to 15 projects across the island as a thank you for all the tremendous support given to us by Jamaicans that has enabled us to carry out the work we do at the Foundation.”
CEO of the Digicel Foundation Karlene Dawson noted that the lab renovation represents the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to science education. “The study of science sparks curiosity, encouraging students to inquire and analyze. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects are increasingly powerful tools for young Jamaicans navigating their way through life,” she observed. “Our goal is to empower the students and to inspire them to reach greater heights in learning.”
About Digicel Foundation:
Our vision is to help create a world where no one gets left behind. Fully supported by everyone in Digicel, over the last 13 years the Digicel Foundation has completed 1,173 projects and helped over 623,000 people in Jamaica. Concentrating on the areas of education, special needs and community empowerment, we work with communities to develop and implement meaningful interventions. To date, we are delighted to have given back over US$33 million islandwide.
The Foundation’s programmes seek to impact key markers of social and economic development. We achieve this by partnering with governmental and non-governmental organisations, communities as well as individuals to provide critical tools of upliftment that will deliver a measurable impact to the most challenged and disenfranchised citizens. By tapping into community roots and expanding opportunities, we are able to positively impact lives in a sustainable way.
For more information about the Digicel Jamaica Foundation, please visit our website at www.digiceljamaicafoundation.org or follow us @digiceljamaica on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.