“Bridge the digital divide…” These are the innovative words by Peter Richardson, Class of ’83, Vice President of the Vaz Preparatory School Past Students Association (VPSPSA). Upholding their motto, “Honest labour bears a lovely face,” the Vaz Prep Past Students Association has initiated a project to donate 117 refurbished computers to their alma mater and six other Kingston and St. Andrew schools. On Friday, October 27, 2023, representatives from the respective schools and the press were invited to a handing-over ceremony. Ms. Simone Sobers (Class of ’78), Fundraiser Director, the Master of Ceremony, opened the event and provided a brief overview of the program. The project aims to bridge the learning gap by utilizing technology and has garnered support from partners such as the Ministry of Education and Florida Atlantic University (FUA).
Clan Carthy Primary, Emanuel Christian Academy, Rollington Town Primary, Williams School of the Deaf, Unity Preparatory School, and Windward Road Primary & Junior High were the fortunate recipients of these computers. As Mr. Peter Richardson stated, “This is only the beginning.” This is an ongoing project with the goal of donating many more computers. The partnership between FAU is spearheaded by the VPSPSA, alumnus Glen Campbell, who serves as the Director of IT at FAU, and Consul General Oliver Mair, representing the Miami Consulate.
The Impact of All Hands On Deck
One by one, representatives from the recipient schools expressed their heartfelt gratitude for the generous gesture. Christine Bartley, Education Officer from the Ministry of Education, extended thanks on behalf of the Ministry to the Vaz Preparatory past students. Ms. Bartley also added, “As it relates to the use of technology in schools, we are facing challenges in providing technology for all schools as a Ministry. Therefore, we believe that receiving assistance from other stakeholders can only enhance the quality of education in Jamaica… God bless you all, and we look forward to more partnerships as we continue to develop Jamaica.” I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Richardson about the inspiration behind this initiative.
In a world where knowledge and technology are increasingly intertwined, the efforts of these dedicated alumni stand as a shining example of what can be achieved when a community comes together. By generously providing refurbished computers to schools in need, they are not just closing the digital divide; they are nurturing the very essence of progress. These alumni are sowing the seeds of a brighter educational future, one computer at a time. We are encouraged to reflect on the impact we, too, can make in shaping a more innovative country for all.
The VPSPA wishes to express their appreciation to the alumni community. They welcome all former Vaz Preparatory students to become part of the association and support its mission. Those interested in joining the VPSPA can connect with the community by visiting their website at vpsalumni.org. Alternatively, they can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.