Western Union handed over one of 13 sets of computers to the students of Rousseau Primary recently. The initiative forms part of the company’s I-PLEDGE programme geared at improving literacy at the Primary School Level. Finance and Planning Minister Peter Phillips who is also Member of Parliament for the area in which Rousseau is situated was on hand to see the occasion. “What is available in the national budget is not enough to educate all our children to the highest possible standard” admits Phillips. “Western Union is accepting that it is part of their responsibility as good corporate citizens to do their bit to meet the educational challenge”.
Chief Operating Officer of GraceKennedy Money Services Michelle Allen echoed the Minister’s statement. “The ability to express yourself and to comprehend; to communicate is a critical ingredient not just for basic survival but for success. Western Union is committing to both the survival and the success of Jamaican’s Youth.”
I-PLEDGE stands for ‘I Promise to Lend Encouragement to Develop Growth in Education’. The programme, established by GraceKennedy Money Services through its brand Western Union in 2009 was designed to support community development with an emphasis on Primary Education. The lives of over 4000 students will be positively impacted by the computers installed this year.
Also in attendance at the occasion was Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Julian Robinson. He made reference to the Government’s e-Learning Jamaica Project which seeks to place computers into High Schools across Jamaica. Robinson reported that Primary Schools were slated to be included in the next phase of that project. He applauded Western Union for taking the lead and being one step ahead of the government.
Allen comments, “The world is changing faster that we can understand; and classrooms need to keep up with that pace. GKMS and Western Union are aware of just how much cash it takes to care, and so this year alone, we have contributed over JA$10 million dollars to the computerization programme.”
Phillips too endorses the injection of technology into the classroom. He encourages a move to have children become “addicted to learning and discovery… through the computer”. In his remarks, he implored teachers and school administrators in managing the use of the computers donated to “be flexible enough to facilitate that addiction. It is clear that the world of the future is still being made and that the computer and technology are going to carrying us into this brave new world.”
In addition to Rousseau Primary, 12 other institutions are to benefit from Western Union’s generosity this year.
• Mona Primary
• Swallowfield Primary & Junior High
• Holy Rosary Primary
• Top Jackson Basic & Primary
• Crescent All Age School
• Mt. Carmel Primary
• Balaclava Primary
• Robin’s Hall Primary
• Porus Primary
• Geneva Primary
• Pedro Plains Primary
• Grace & Staff Community Development Foundation (NGO)