With the establishment of a smart room, learning should improve at the Homestead Primary and Infant School in St. Catherine.
Recently, the Digicel Foundation gifted the school with the facility at a cost of US$60,000. It is equipped with 12 laptops, 12 tablets, a smart board, a printer, air-conditioning units and is furnished with desks and chairs and can accommodate 24 students at a time.
“This means that Homestead is on a new path for learning, because the students are now into technology a lot, and learning will go up. I expect reading to go up, numeracy level, literacy level – all of them will go up with this smart room. They (students) will have to treat everything in the room with care, so that generations to come will have access to the facility,” said grade-four teacher at the school, Shauna-Kaye Dehaney, in an interview with JIS News.
Reading teacher at the institution, Neisha Davis Carr, said integration of school lessons into technology has become very necessary for students since the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and teaching with the various devices “will help them to understand better, because they are using something that they are very familiar with”.
“I am expecting higher grades, and more exciting students,” she said, adding that attendance should also improve.
Meanwhile, Head Girl, Ainsley-Ann Wright, said it is now “easier for the teachers to teach, and I am happy because it is helping students in the school, and I want to thank Digicel for creating this smart room”.
Prefect, Analdo White, said students will learn more in the smart room, and they “need to take care of it, because the future students will need it to understand their work”.
Another student, Paris Newton, said she is overjoyed for the “smart room, because it is going to benefit us a lot”.
“Some kids learn more when they are face-to-face with a tablet or a television,” she said.
For Kevesha Dias, the benefits from the facility will be great. “I look forward to coming to school, and going into the smart room,” she said.
The smart room initiative forms part of Digicel Foundation’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) project, which is aimed at helping to bridge the digital divide.