St Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) major sponsor of Oranje School Technology Center

The Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) came in for high press at the official inauguration of St Maarten’s Technology Center of the Oranje School.

Giving the vote of thanks, principal of the school, Kay Philips, described PJIA as a “major sponsor” of the project, which consisted of transforming an existing classroom into an ultra-modern “Technology and Research Lab.”

It was in February 2010, that PJIAE donated toward the purchase of equipment and furniture to Oranje School, said Daphne Roberts-Nicholson, business development officer at PJIAE.

Students, teachers, and education officials at the opening of the Technology Center of the Oranje School. (PJIA photo)

The recent inauguration took place in what was a large classroom that had been converted into five smaller learning environments consisting of a lecture area, a brainstorming area, the science area, a group work table and computer workstations equipped with 15 computers.

The Technology Center, the first of its kind in the Public School system, also has a large screen, two scanners, a printer, two digital video cameras, and two digital cameras.

Following the cutting of the ribbon by Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs, Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, teacher Adriana Henriquez, an expert in the use of technology in education, gave a demonstration with a group of Grade 6 students, of how the Center will be used to create a 21st Century learning experience.

PJIA’s commitment to education is a long-standing one,” remarked Audrey Jack of the Marketing & Communications Department, who along with Roberts-Nicholson, represented PJIA at the ceremony.

Education is the key to the future development of the island, and PJIA has been consistently supporting educational initiatives such as this one,” Jack added, pointing also to the recent support of Ujimaa Foundation’s Education Day.

The impressive Technology Center at Oranje School was held up as a model for other public schools as well as private schools.

Speaking at the inauguration, Minister Arrindell praised the Oranje School, stressing that the new Technology Center at the school falls within her mid-term goals, which includes “the systematic use of ICT in all schools.”

The idea,” she said, “is to ensure that all students have access to computers and the Internet and that they are used systematically throughout our school curriculum.”

I strongly believe that in this 21st Century, all St. Martin students must be computer literate and Internet–savvy,” she added.

The Oranje School is the oldest school on the island, and is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year.

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