From left to right: Commercial Counsellor, China’s Embassy in Barbados, Zhang Xiu; China’s Ambassador to Barbados, Wang Ke; Prime Minister Freundel Stuart; Education Minister, Ronald Jones; and Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education, Senator Harry Husbands, looking at some of the teaching materials that were donated on Wednesday. (B. Hinds/BGIS)
By Joy-Ann Gill
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) -- Education in Barbados has been bolstered with a donation of some BDS$10 million (US$5 million) in teaching equipment from China, which will be allocated to schools and institutions across the island.
The donation was accepted on Wednesday by minister of education, science, technology and innovation, Ronald Jones, on behalf of his ministry from China’s ambassador, Wang Ke.
Following a signing ceremony, Jones joined Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and officials from the education ministry in expressing gratitude for the donation
Acknowledging that the teaching materials were a manifestation of the relationship that existed between the two countries, Jones noted that Barbados has had “long, cordial and very vibrant relationships with China, its governments over time and its people”.
Stating that the donation also represented $30 million RMB, he added that his ministry had already started the distribution of the materials, which include 3,000 desktops, large monitors; 2,000 laptops and 9,000 tablets.
The education minister explained that the 14,000 pieces of technology would be distributed to all public and private schools captured under the Education Act, and registered as bona fide schools in Barbados.
Tertiary level institutions, as well as the Technical Vocational and Educational Training Council, Barbados Community College, Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, Media Resource Department and the Barbados Accreditation Council, are also expected to benefit.
Jones stated that nearly every institution associated with education, science, technology and innovation would receive some part of the donation, which also included 2,500 chairs and 2,500 desks.