Ronald Jones, Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, thanks Debra King, Director of Corporate Communications at CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, for the??donation of SMART Notebook Technology; while (left to right) Cheryl Haynes, Senior Teacher of St. Paul’s Primary; Judy Sobers, Principal of Half Moon Fort Primary and Acting Permanent Secretary, Bruce Alleyne watch; today at the Ministry of Education. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Three primary schools are now better able to educate their students in the use of information technology, thanks to a donation of SMART Notebook Technology from CIBC First Caribbean International Bank.

The three are Mount Tabor Primary, St. John; Half Moon Fort Primary, St. Lucy and St. Paul’s Primary, St. Michael, who were today presented with the equipment valued at some $30,000.??

Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, accepted the equipment on behalf of the schools and said the thrust to infuse schools with technology was welcomed. He maintained: When we mesh the technology with the pedagogical structures then we are better able to get students to respond; the environment becomes a lot more stimulating and, therefore, student learning can hopefully, better take place…

"…We also recognise that it is not the mere technology or the teacher’s ability to teach and to deliver; but student interest, which is of some importance in the delivery of education. ??We know that technology heightens student interest."

Commending the benevolence of the bank, Mr. Jones noted that even though the State provided significant amounts of money and human resource in the form of teachers, it could not do it alone. He added: "Corporate partners such as CIBC First Caribbean International Bank are always encouraged to be part of our effort in educating the nation’s children and people. And, as we educate our young people, not only in cognitive skills but in values, it would make our total environment a lot better to live in… The educated individual, one hopes, is better able to understand the dynamics of his environment and how to relate to that environment in a positive way without being offensive to all others around him/her."

As he acknowledged that schools stressed the importance of giving, sharing and caring in their values curriculum, he told representatives of the bank that they seemed "to have taken those attributes on board and reached out to our schools". And, he reminded them that the corporate sector benefitted from the products of education.

The Acting Prime Minister told the representatives that refining the human capital was an important part of Government’s human resource development strategy. He explained: "We want to position Barbados at a level which means that all of our citizens are lifelong learners; they are innovative; that they develop the kinds of entrepreneurial talents and abilities, which would help the country grow beyond now what we currently do in tourism; in offshore business; in agriculture; manufacturing; [and] in services as provided by banks such as CIBC First Caribbean International Bank.

"Also in the creative and sporting industries and in the development of even new technologies that will help fuel the Green Economy that Barbados is trying to push and to become a leader in the emerging world …" So, the equipment that you have added to these three schools is absolutely important to student learning."

Meanwhile, Director of Corporate Communications at the bank, Debra King, said the donation of the equipment came through the CIBC First Caribbean International Bank Foundation, a charitable trust that makes donations to worthy causes in the 17 countries in which the bank operates. Ms. King said: "We were particularly excited about the technology because it opens up so much more to our young people in our schools today than we ourselves would have been exposed to."

The items given to the primary schools comprised three SMART Notebook software and Boards, three projectors and three SMART mobile Floor Stands.??


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