Given Government’s limited finances, one of the island’s oldest secondary schools says it has made a conscious decision to turn to corporate Barbados for assistance in improving the learning experience of its students.
Earlier this week, the Lodge School welcomed a generous donation of ten computers from the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL), which Deputy Principal Stacia Austin said formed part of a newly formed partnership between the learning institution and the insurance company.
The equipment will go towards the school’s art and music department.
In the recently approved Estimates for the 2018/2019 financial year, the Lodge School was allotted $6.8 million, a slight increase over the $6.6 million for the 2017/2018 financial year.
This is out of a total budget of $493.3 million for the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology for the 2018/2019 financial year, compared to the $479.6 million the previous year.
“Last year for our Teachers Professional Day the professional development committee decided that they should look at the 21st century learner and there were certain key components that we needed to have. “We needed to have the technological know how and we needed to have the technology,” Austin explained.
“What we decided then is that we needed to develop some partnerships with corporate Barbados because we know Government does not have the kind of resources that we would need to prepare that learner. “We felt that if we could tap into the resources that we have out there in the corporate arena then we would be able to actually move forward and get a step ahead of the others,” she added.
While not outlining any pending projects, the deputy principal made it clear that ICBL would not be the only private sector entity that it would approaching for help.
“Wherever we can further our relationship and wherever we can further our interaction we are going to seek those avenues,” she pledged.
Senior Vice President and Head of the Life Division at ICBL Henry Inniss noted that “the world has been changing at a dizzying pace and that change has, to some extent, not been embraced fully by the education sector.
“Several other sectors – medicine, agriculture, various aspects of industry – have been embracing those changes and have been advancing very rapidly over time,” Inniss said while promising to continually assist the school in its information technology expansion strategy.
“What has been found by other institutions that have embraced technology fully is that the engagement of students goes up . . . technology also improves knowledge retention. That is something that has also been found by other institutions,” he said.