Launch of Alternative Pathways to Secondary Education


The Jessie Ripoll Primary School Alumni Association and the school’s Parent-Teacher Association have collaborated to establish a digital library at the institution, to increase learning resources for students.

Delivering the keynote address at the launch at the school in Kingston on August 26, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Youth, Hon. Marsha Smith, said the Ministry is placing increased focus on technology for young people to have greater access to build their knowledge.

She noted that a “concerted effort” is being made to encourage more students to pursue science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM)-based learning, with the provision of theoretical knowledge and “facilities to do practical work”.

The Minister of State reported that the Jamaica Library Service (JLS), which is an agency of the Ministry, is upgrading its systems and services to better serve the public, and to “increase students’ access in and out of school”.

Endorsing the effort to establish the digital library at the school, which includes a fundraising drive for $1.4 million, Miss Smith said the institution has long established itself as a “school committed to providing quality education”.

“I am sure you will bring the same creative and innovative spirit to teaching as you have done in the past,” she said.

Director of the Alumni Association, Joneil J. Alcock, said their mission is to provide a “practical and meaningful literacy foundation for students that will foster STEAM-based education,” as well as build a “normal education process in a technical manner”.

Director at the JLS, Natoya Garwood, said digital libraries have “significantly transformed” literacy and education across the globe, and the JLS fully supports the effort at Jessie Ripoll.

Meanwhile, Director at Jamaica Copyright Licensing Agency (JAMCOPY), Dr. Aisha Spencer, said the initiative is “relevant” and a digital library will provide the users with access to valuable resources.