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The Digicel Trinidad and Tobago Foundation’s Caribbean Code + Programme Exposes Rural Students to Digital Skills
The Digicel Trinidad and Tobago Foundation wraps up its Caribbean Code + Programme as part of its larger commitment to STEM, ICT and education.
On July 18, 2022, the Caribbean Code + Programme got underway at Tobago Information Technology Limited, in Signal Hill, Scarborough. The Caribbean Code + Programme was created through a partnership with We CODE Caribbean and the Digicel Trinidad and Tobago Foundation. The programme was also an important aspect of the Digicel Trinidad and Tobago Foundation’s decennial anniversary. The mission of Caribbean Code + Programme was to teach youths and students necessary skills to succeed as professionals in the technology industry. In total, about 300 students from 24 different primary schools throughout Trinidad and Tobago participated. Some of the main topics that were part of the five-week camp included coding, programming, robotics, entrepreneurship, etiquette and mental wellness.
At the culmination of the immersive programme in Port of Spain, a prize giving ceremony celebrated the students’ achievements, dedication and determination. Administration and staff from schools had the privilege of presenting these honours. As Digicel Foundation Board Director Bibi Mohamed reflected on the pilot programme, she went on to say, “Coding is the way of the future, ensuring that this digital experience is available to students from rural underserved communities aligns closely with the Foundation’s mandate that no one should be left behind.” Another positive outcome noted by many was the visibility the programme provided for all genders in STEM and related niches.
A Greater Focus on Education for the Digicel Foundation
For each branch of the Digicel Foundation, facilitating an accessible education for all students is deeply engrained in its DNA.
For example, the Digicel Haiti Foundation upholds this standard through the tireless construction of new schools. In March 2021, Ecole Communautaire de la Ruche, Collège Frères Unis de Ravine Sable and Ecole Presbytérale de Poirier were inaugurated, raising the total number of schools built up to 185 (now 189). These facilities also included sanitary blocks, multipurpose courts, reservoirs and perimeter walls. Another testament of the Digicel Haiti Foundation’s commitment to education was when it released a guide for Enrichment Programme for Leadership and Educational Development. Teachers could use this resource to analyse their current practices, grow their own abilities, knowledge share with other professionals and reference lesson plan templates.
Over 500 km away, the Digicel Jamaica Foundation echoes the Digicel Haiti Foundation’s push for education. By example, in November 2022, the Digicel Jamaica Foundation helped turn a classroom in the Harbour View Primary School in Kingston, Jamaica into a Smart Room. In addition, the school received 12 laptops and 12 tablets with headset connections, a smart screen, a commercial printer and state-of-the-art internet from Digicel+ for two years, so the students could learn information and communication technology (ICT) competencies. To reiterate the non-profit organisation’s devotion to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the Digicel Jamaica Foundation donated J$28 million towards the Amber Group Coding in Schools programme. In conjunction with this donation, the Digicel Jamaica Foundation facilitated the adaptation of the national coding curriculum for grades one to 13 students, and put together 20 paid internships for Grade 13 pupils. At the time of the announcement, the Digicel Foundation had invested over US$795 in STEM education.
Although these cases prove that there has been a significant amount of progress in academic systems in Haiti and Jamaica, the Digicel Foundation will not cease its humanitarian work. Visit the Digicel Foundation website to learn more.