Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Fayval Williams has welcomed the launch of the Dr. Joseph Tait STEAM Infusion project at Jamaica College.
Dr. Joseph Tait, a Jamaica College alumna and New York based retired veterinarian, recently, unveiled a pioneering Science Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathamathics (STEM) laboratory, at the school, from where he graduated in 1953
Speaking at the launch and opening of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Laboratory recently, Williams said the initiative, which was funded by Dr. Tait, was in line with the thrust of the ministry to enable students to have greater access to the technology and the resources needed to thrive as 21st century learners.
“At the ministry, we are committed to the task of ensuring that none of our students is left behind as we seek to eliminate the digital divide that exists in our society. This divide has been made even more evident with the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for our classrooms to be moved to the virtual space,” she said.
The minister argued that the opening of the laboratory was one of the best examples of how crucial it was for partnerships to be encouraged in education.
“Because of the outreach of one man and his team, many young men will be able to be inspired in this lab, opening up to them a world of possibilities,” Williams said.
She noted that, overall, the STEAM Infusion project was forward-thinking and innovative.
“If Jamaica is to be the place to live, work, raise families and do business, then our workforce, through our education sector, has to be equally competitive on the global market. The investment truly begins in education,” she said.
She further noted that the STEAM movement has been earning traction over the years in Jamaica and other countries.
She added: “I am sure we will reap the reward of Dr. Tait’s investment for years to come and I am sure there will be more hands available to join him and others like him on this journey to improve the education of our children.”
For his part, Board Chairman, Jamaica College, Michael Bernard, said the school aims to be amongst the leading institutions in Jamaica in the use of technology.
In his remarks, Dr. Tait said he feels “a certain amount of excitement at what this could hold for the future and I also feel a certain amount of gratitude… [that] this little country boy from Clarendon could do this for his college and for his country.”
“I am grateful for the support of the Jamaica College community,” he said, adding that he will also be supporting the implementation of an amphitheatre for the dramatic arts at the school.