After six long months, the first Hanover-based project between the Digicel Jamaica Foundation and the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) was completed. The Lucea Infant School is just one of seven project collaborations between the two organisations. In the last five years, the Digicel Jamaica Foundation has contributed J$127.3 million to school renovations and partnered with ECC to ensure students have a safe place to learn and grow. ECC’s seven-part pledge to Jamaica’s children seeks to listen, supervise, set aside time to interact with them, promote self-discipline, avoid harshness, celebrate their accomplishments and support their education.
At the relaunch of the Lucea Infant School on Thursday the 21st of April, Digicel representatives Jean Lowrie-Chin and Carnel Campbell and principals of Rusea’s High School and Lucea Primary School were present. Lowrie-Chin spoke about how this renovation ensures that no one, especially youth who are at a particular transformative point, is left behind. At the opening ceremony, Michelle Pinnock, director of Region Four at the Ministry of Education, acknowledged how this important change will positively impact the lives of so many. A Facebook post from the Digicel Jamaica Foundation showed proud students holding a framed rendering of their school with the hashtags #12Standards and #Education.
A top priority was safety and bringing the school up to code and certification standards. The electrical system and roof were revamped, while a privacy fence was erected around the perimeter. Another priority was improving the overall aesthetic for the students’ final term. Tiles were replaced, walls were repainted and the inner courtyard was redone. Finally, a jungle gym play area was created.
The Digicel Jamaica Foundation works with the United Nations to provide accessible primary and secondary education at no cost. In Jamaica, primary education spans six years, while secondary education is five years. According to UNESCO, total literacy rates in the country of citizens ages 15 and above was last measured at 88%.
In addition to the improvements made at the Lucea Infant School, the Digicel Jamaica Foundation renovated 13 science labs and donated 42 mobile science labs to Jamaica high schools. Other impressive benchmarks that were met with full completion in March of 2022 include:
- 6 ramps were installed in schools, making them more accessible
- 2 ICT rooms were renovated, offering increased learning opportunities
- 500 tablets were distributed, closing technological gaps
- 20 schools acquired wash stations, removing barriers to hygiene
In the future, patrons of the Digicel Jamaica Foundation can expect to see a continued investment in STEM educational infrastructures, with 10 more ICT rooms in primary schools by 2024.