Derrick Panton (in red shirt), past student of the Salt Marsh Primary School, with from (left) principal of Salt Marsh Primary and Infant School Mervyn Sinclair teachers Venesha Brown-Gordon and Roxann Miller- Stewart along with students of the institution following his donation of computers and other items recently.
SALT MARSH, Trelawny – The Salt Marsh Primary and Infant School had no working computers but that situation has changed since alumnus Derrick Panton, originally from Salt Marsh but who has taken up residence in Baltimore, USA, donated three to the school, among other items.
The donation included two laptops and a desktop computer that were accessed through the support of the non-profit organisation PCs for People, located in the United States.
Football gear was also among the donation.
“The donation came through me but it came through a non-profit organisation from Baltimore named PCs for People. They are the ones that found all of those things,” Panton explained.
When asked about the inspiration behind the move, Panton explained that he saw the need and therefore decided to help.
“As a past student of Salt Marsh School, I saw that they needed it as a tool to learn so that is why I got the donations. It can definitely help the teachers to do their work” he said.
Principal of the institution, Mervyn Sinclair was especially grateful for the computers.
“We are elated because we were lacking working computers, the school itself never had any computers that were in good order and working,” Sinclair explained.
“We are grateful for the support we got, but we are woefully in need of more technology at the school. We are grateful, but it is just a drop in the bucket.”
He noted that the donation was timely as the computers at the school are in need of repair. He, however, indicated that despite the holiday season, they have already put the computers to use with the desktop providing support at the school’s office.
“The desktop is being used at the front and, generally, the laptops are there for the teachers to use with the students. So, if the teachers are doing a PowerPoint presentation and so on, they can take the laptop and go to the class because we have a multimedia projector,” he said.
Despite this, he notes that the school would welcome similar support as more technological support for students and teachers is needed.
“We don’t have a computer room, we don’t have any computers per se, so one of the things we are trying to do is to try and see if we can get some computers and create what we call a mobile computer centre. We would put it on something and roll it into classes, so we looking more computers, laptops in particular, and tablets,” he remarked.
He also articulated the need for reliable Internet connectivity at the school.