PwC Jamaica reinforced their commitment to education and community development with a donation valued at JM$2 million inclusive of 7 desktop computers, 30 tablets, and 100 access keys to literacy training software, to the Holy Trinity High School, to assist in the enhancement of the institution’s Academic Intervention Programme.
Over the last six years, the Academic Intervention Programme (AIP), which began as a simple pull-out exercise, where students who were reading below the required high school level were identified and assisted, has now evolved into a tailored curriculum with designated staff.
The specialised attention offered by the programme has resulted in tremendous impact in the development of the selected students, but it is more complex than meets the eye.
“We have students who came in reading at the grade 3 level in 2016 and in one year we were able to move them to reading at the grade 5 level,” stated Principal of the Holy Trinity School Father Carl F Clarke. “We have students who came in reading at the grade 2 level and in one year we moved them to reading at grade 4. We have students who came in reading at the grade 2 level and in one year we moved them to reading at grade 6. We have students who came in reading at the grade 2 level and in one year we moved them to reading at grade 5, that is three grade levels in one year.”
“Now, consider the student who came in reading at the grade 2 level, that is a 12- or 13-year-old reading at age 7 level, and we were able to move them to grade 5 level; but having moved them to grade 5 it’s not only about reading. There are all kinds of dynamics and other skills that must be taught that would not have been taught because they were unable to read. Now you must teach them those skills and having taught them those skills we are able to move these students to passing two or three subjects. I think that is a feat that is worthy of commendation,” continued Father Clarke.
According to Gail Moore, Partner and Environment Leader, at PwC Jamaica, investments in non-traditional institutions such as the Holy Trinity High School are crucial to equitable nation building.
“Investment is a national imperative, it’s not just a benefit that it is accruing to the students, to their families. It’s something for the entire Jamaica. The more we can keep students in the classrooms and off the streets the better off everyone will be. When you think about it, education provides a foundation for development, the groundwork on which much of our economic and social wellbeing is built. Therefore, we must play an active role in ensuring that all of our children have access to and can obtain value-added education.”
Moore also shared that the donation, which stems from the combined generosity of PwC Jamaica’s partners, staff members, and the firm, is the beginning of a much larger vision.
“The plan is not just to give only seven desktops this year. The plan is to build out that computer room,” stated Moore. So, it’s not just looking at one section. It’s how can we improve; how can we make things better at Holy Trinity. And we hope the students will take care of the computers. To not think only of themselves and their current classmates but to look at persons coming behind them and ensure that they can also benefit from it as well.”
Father Clarke expressed his deep gratitude for the partnership with PwC Jamaica.
“It is so wonderful that corporate Jamaica through PricewaterhouseCoopers has continued to partner with us. The gifts that PricewaterhouseCoopers has offered to our institution, I believe will only help us further the growth of what we’re trying to do here at the Holy Trinity High School,” declared Father Clarke.
“So often some of our students who are in AIP need individualised, one-on-one attention. The group discussion or encounter does not suffice. So, through this Scholastic Literacy Pro programme that PricewaterhouseCoopers is helping us to implement here at our school, our students will be able to get that individualised, one-on-one attention as they interface with the computer. And as they interface with the programme, what the teacher would not have been able to do, PricewaterhouseCoopers has helped us to do for 100 students. We are so grateful,” concluded Father Clarke.