Children with special needs in St. Thomas now have a center for excellence, opened by Digicel foundation. The centeris aimed to boost the learning opportunities and enhance skill development in these persons.
The center which was opened on April 7, fulfils the commitment of Mr. Denis O’Brien, patron of Digicel foundation, to build ten centers of excellence for children with special needs. The facility with state-of-the-art infrastructure will cater to the students of high-school age and is one of its kind in the country. The centeris administered by the Region 2 office of Ministry of Education.
The opening ceremony of the Digicel’scenter of excellence was attended by Mary Davis, Chief executive officer of Special Olympics international, Member of parliament Dr Fenton Ferguson, Digicel foundation chairman Jean Lowrie –Chin, Digicel Jamaica CEO Justin Morin and officials from the Ministry of Education.
According to the campus co-ordinator Jacqueline Hendricks-Wilmot, there was no facility which catered to the high school stage, for children suffering from intellectual disabilities before the center for excellence was opened. She thanked the foundation and its patron Denis O’Brien for opening the center at St. Thomas for giving a state-of-the-art facility to the special needs children.
The modern building of the center consists of three classrooms, bathrooms for the children and teachers, kitchen, administrative block and sick bay. The center for excellence can accommodate eighty children in the three classrooms. The center aims to work with students, teachers and families of the children with special needs to provide overall growth and learning experience for the students.
The center has developed special vocational training programs in the fields of digital animation, home economics, welding, agriculture and literacy to enhance the learning abilities and lead to overall growth of the children.
Justin Morin, CEO of Digicel in Jamaica observed that the center of excellence is, the company’s birthday gift to Jamaica. The year 2018 marks the seventeenth anniversary of Digicel. The center of excellence in St. Thomas fulfils the commitment made by Digicel foundation patron Denis O’Brien, to build ten centers of excellence for children with special needs. The CEO thanked the company’s customers for supporting them.