The T.A. Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) takes another step as it seeks to close the digital divide between itself and other international tertiary institutions.
The island’s sole tertiary institution is getting assistance from LIME Grenada to the tune of just over EC $89,000 to help upgrade the Resource Labs, one and two at the college.
The contribution from Lime helped TAMCC to bring in 54 brand new computers – 35 in lab one and 19 in lab two, as well as two projectors, along with the necessary painting, floor tiles and roof repairs.
The Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), forced onto government to address a fiscal problem in the local economy, has forced TAMCC to become more self sufficient.
TAMCC Principal, Jeffery Britton lauded the telecoms provider, which he said was approached in 2014 to consider funding one of the labs, but went beyond its call of duty to assist with the complete upgrade of both facilities.
Britton said the donation would go a long way in assisting with “the conversion of the digital divide into a digital dividend for both lecturers and students.”
In thanking LIME for its “contribution to the improvement of the technological infrastructure at TAMCC for the teaching and learning process,”the school principal acknowledged, “effective learning in the digital age has been a challenge for the college” but affirmed that they are “being prepared to adapt.”
“Technological readiness is essential for the appropriate transformation of the digital learning process” he said, adding, “we are acutely aware that digital access in the classroom will enable a more engaging and activating experience in the teaching and learning process.”
Britton reaffirmed TAMCC’s aim to find the most appropriate means to effectively integrate technology into the inquiry base and competency base training at the college.
“We are cognisant that it is paramount to shift away from looking at technology as an end in itself and move towards using technology as a medium for relevant learning and development,” he said.
Chairman of the College Council, Collin Dowe highlighted the importance for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Grenada to produce competitive graduates as well as to develop partnerships with the corporate world to aid in this regard.
“As a small developing state it is important that we graduate persons who are competitive and in order for them to be competitive they must be as exposed to and as well trained as their competitors – wherever they may be in whichever corner of the globe. And it is very important to us that the digital divide be narrowed if not eliminated in order for our students to remain competitive,” he remarked.
“TAMCC belongs to all of us,” he emphasized, noting that “we are the training ground for the future employees and employers of Grenada and it is critically important that corporate Grenada likewise recognises that support to TAMCC is essentially a support to their own entity.”
Dowe expressed the view that “if we are able to close the skills gap through strong partnerships with the private sector, it means that your investment in training and retraining an employee once hired would be minimised.”
He said: “If we are able to turn out the employees that you want in Grenada and in the region, it means that you would have job ready (workers) which is extremely important for you to remain efficient, effective and competitive.”
Dowe also renewed the institution’s call to the private sector to “continue supporting TAMCC and made a plea for the Government of Grenada to recognise the partnership that the private sector has had and to build upon the partnership that the private sector may contemplate with all learning institutions in the possibility of making capital donations to schools…”
Minister with responsibility for Information Communication Technology (ICT), Alvin Dabreo was on hand to cut the ribbons and to officially declare open both computer labs at the ceremony held March 6.
LIME’s Chief Executive Officer for the Southern Cluster, Geraldine Pitt urged TAMCC students to take care of the equipment and to ensure that those who attend the college after them would have the opportunity to use the technology to develop digitally as well.
Other members of LIME’s Board of Directors as well as officials from the Ministry of Education was also on hand to witness what was described as an auspicious moment for students and teachers at TAMCC.