St Simon Primary gets help
Rotary Club of Lucea donates laptops, printer to struggling schoolThursday, April 30, 2015
BY ANTHONY LEWIS Observer writer
ST SIMON, Hanover — THE St Simon Primary School, in deep rural Hanover, was constructed decades ago to accommodate 150 students. But over the years, the co-educational institution has seen a marked decline in enrolment to 62 students.
The decline in the school's population has been attributed mainly to the poor road conditions in the St Simon community.
"It's easier for the parents [in the St Simon area] to put a child on a taxi to Lucea [some four miles away], than to walk to the school, because of the poor road conditions," said Leitha Forde, principal of the school.
"I remember, one parent told me that her child was complaining that she did not want to walk on the road because it hurts her feet as a result of the stones and all of that she has to walk on," she added.
But the poor road condition isn't the only factor impacting negatively on the western Hanover-based school, as its growth and development have also been hindered by the lack of basic information technology equipment.
But thanks to the continued support of the Rotary Club of Lucea, six laptop computers and a printer were donated to the struggling school last week Thursday. The donation was made possible through a joint project with the Rotary Club of Cincinnati in Ohio, USA.
Forde said that in the past, personnel from the school would have to travel to Lucea to print or fax confidential materials.
"Printer with the fax machine is also of importance as before that we had to go to Lucea to fax confidential information from computer shops in Lucea. Also, now having the printer at school, we will be saving money [transportation and Internet cafe fees]," she explained.
"This is not a rich community [St Simon], so you find that sometimes you give them [students] research and only a few would go to Lucea, as the parents cannot afford to send them. Now, having the computers here, the teachers will be able to guide them as they do their research," added an elated Forde.
Meanwhile, president of the Lucea Rotary Club, Kelvin Hall, noted that his club has over the years provided other forms of support to the school.
"The Rotary Club of Lucea has been providing support to the school over the years. Of late, the club has been donating shoes to students whose parents have not been able to afford to purchase shoes for them to attend school," noted Hall, who is also the steering committee chairman of the Hanover Chamber of Commerce.
Last year, the club also installed a new gate at the entrance to the school.
Meanwhile, Ian Hayles, Member of Parliament for the area, acknowledged the poor state of the roads in St Simon, and commended the residents for "their patience and understanding".
He noted that representation has already been made for funding to undertake repairs on the roadway, adding that he expects the work to begin later this year.