Dinthill Alumni to the rescue

Florida Chapter donates 30 computers, printer to Linstead-based school

BY FALON FOLKES
Observer staff reporter
folkesf@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, January 19, 2018



ELECTRONIC Document Preparation and Management (EDPM) students at Dinthill Technical High School in Linstead, St Catherine, will no longer have to contend with inadequate computers to do their work, thanks to the Florida Chapter of the school's Alumni Association.

The alumni on Tuesday donated 30 computers and a printer to the school.

Prior to the donation, EDPM students had to share a computer lab with information technology (IT) students. This lab has about 35 computers that was being used by about 130 students from Grades 9 to 10, which posed as a problem for students.

“Normally when we have EDPM class we have a lot of struggles. Most of the time some children have to bring their laptops and share [with others]. Sometimes we [also] have to share computers (in the lab),” Grade 11 student Lakayla Rigg told the Jamaica Observer. “And when doing work on the old computers that we were using we would lose work,” Rigg added.

Rigg said, too, that EDPM students were not happy with the situation as at times they were unable to practise our typing skills. “So we are very grateful [for the donation]. I think by having these computers it will help us to be able to practise more and not depend on anybody else or bother anyone. It can help us to get to do our own work more efficiently,” she said.

In spite of these inconveniences, however, Donna Forrest, the Grade 10 EDPM teacher, informed the Observer that their students performed well in the subject area. “Our results were excellent last year. We got mostly grade ones last year, so we are expecting even more this year with the additional computers.” She added that it will enable students to complete their Student Based Assessments more efficiently and in a more timely manner.

Principal Lloyd Fearon, himself a past student, pointed out that the room was originally a model office and had only four working computers. “The students were taught how to handle themselves in an office. They were taught how to use the computers in preparation for when they go into the working world,” said Fearon.

“We have been advocating for some computers for the past two years and the idea came after talking to the past students about the need to create an area for EDPM, and this was the best place to convert for them,” he added. The skills of technical students and their teachers, the principal said, were used in the conversion of the room now used as the EDPM lab.

Public relations officer for the Florida Chapter of the Dinthill Alumni Association, Margaret Watt Walker, said that it was the past students' commitment to their alma mater why they decided to render assistance. “As Dinthillites in the Florida Chapter we get into everything. As soon as there is a little problem we embrace it and we run with it. We approached the United Nations and told them that we needed help, so they gave us the computers.”

Watt Walker implored the students to take great care of the equipment and the surrounding area, and told them that members of the alumni would visit from time to time to check on the state of the machines. “If they are impressed, then the association will give 40 more computers to the school in September,” she promised.

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