SOUTH REWARD – At the start of 2014, Foresee Foundation launched DigKidz@St. Maarten, a comprehensive ICT project aimed at providing students, teachers and management with the infrastructure, tools and training to make learning and teaching more engaging and productive in a technology-driven world.
After the successful launch of DigiKidz Foresee Foundation, in collaboration with Milton Peters College (MPC) and St. Maarten Academy, are embarking on a new project called “DigiTeenz.” The DigiTeenz program for secondary schools comes in as a logical successor to the previous DigiKidz, granting students access to innovative 21st century education throughout all subject areas.
The two largest secondary schools on St. Maarten are very excited about this project which will have its official kick-off in the upcoming weeks.
Tallulah Baly, Principal of St. Maarten Academy, Academic section, conveyed her sentiments “that the students from the DigiKidz schools, who are our feeder schools, solidify our need to become a DigiTeenz school, integrating technology in the school’s curriculum and daily school operations.” Furthermore, Academy recognizes their responsibility to cultivate lifelong learners and ensure that their students become equipped with 21st century tools. Additionally, as a CXC (Caribbean Examination Council) school, E-Testing has become a reality as of January 2017, which accelerates the school’s preparation to accommodate on-line testing and further upgrades in technology integration.
Wim de Visser, General Director of MPC and Sundial, observed the backlog that not only his schools, but many schools in the Caribbean encounter. He sees technology as a necessary tool in education, and not even as an innovation, “as we first have to close the digital gap and catch up with worldwide technology developments.”
According to de Visser, ICT is not making the students smarter, but it gives them the tools to be successful in the world of today allowing opportunities for personalized learning.
For the age group of 12 to 18, more than anyone else, the “Virtual World is Unstoppable” and technology is an integral part of teenagers’ personal lives, their future studies and careers. Jose Sommers, President of Foresee Foundation reiterated that, “Our students have been crying for the past 20 years about the lack of technology in our education system!”
With the excellent opportunity of private funding by Windsong Foundation, a Caribbean-based philanthropic charity foundation geared towards educational funding for children under the age of 18 years, the two schools will become prepared to close that gap and meet the needs for over 1,500 students.
The Foresee Foundation (4C Foundation) was established in 2013 with vision to bring 21st century learning to St. Maarten classrooms. It has since launched a number of programs including DigiKidz at three schools, the MediaLab program at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library and the Caribbean Technology in Education Conference and EXPO (CTEC).
The foundation in a joint partnership venture with St. Maarten Academy and MPC is now getting ready to move on to the next program and they will start soliciting for additional local funding, looking forward to assistance from the local community, its businesses and other organizations.