Enrichment programme launched
DIGICEL Foundation has teamed up with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Education for the 2014 Enrichment Programme.
This year, 31 schools will be receiving enrichment centres and mobile carts to help students in grades one to three better prepare for the Grade Four Literacy Test. This expansion has been made possible with the assistance of USAID through a partnership valued at more than US$3.7 million.
Over a three-year period, the enrichment programme will be active within an additional 95 schools, bringing the total number of schools impacted by the initiative to nearly 200 schools islandwide.
"USAID has a robust partnership legacy in Jamaica, but there is still more work that needs to be done in order to seize the full potential and impact that can result from these partnerships. No single government can be the sole solution to the myriad of challenges in a country," noted Denise Herbol, mission director at USAID.
"Here in Jamaica, the Ministry of Education and companies like Digicel are working together to achieve established literacy objectives. Literacy is the stepping stone that enables people to gain access to information, to improve their health and nutrition, widen their livelihood options and make informed choices. When we invest in learning and literacy, we invest in human dignity, development and peace."
Samantha Chantrelle, CEO of the Digicel Foundation, also expressed her appreciation for the partnership with both USAID and the Ministry of Education.
"We are delighted that USAID has partnered with the Digicel Foundation on this very important initiative and we thank the Ministry of Education for continuing to support our efforts since 2009," she said.
The official announcement for all 31 schools took place at Davis Primary School in St Catherine on January 29. Renovations at Davis Primary began last year with all equipment and furnishings for the enrichment centre installed within the last two months. The room is now fully equipped with new desks, chairs, a filing cabinet, interactive whiteboards, a television set, DVD and MP3 players, a laminating machine and a wide range of interactive teaching resources and software.
This school was also the recipient of a mobile library cart containing more than 200 books to provide children with supplemental reading material. The mobile library cart programme is a joint initiative of the Digicel Foundation and the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation. More than 700 students at Davis Primary are expected to benefit from this recent intervention.