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Taiwanese group assisting schools in Cayo Print E-mail
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Thursday, 24 August 2017 00:00

Schools in rural Cayo are becoming equipped with computer hardware, thanks to international help. The Belize Educational Service Group BESG from Taiwan recently handed desktops and laptops to schools during a special ceremony at the Sacred Heart College auditorium in San Ignacio Town.

Present for the delivery of the computer hardware was H. E Charles K.Y Liu, Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize, who shared that such acts will undoubtedly increase the friendships between Belize and Taiwan.

Community developer Ricky Cunil, commenting on the special occasion says, “I want to commend them for the great job they have been doing in schools and in Belizeans lives. It is not easy to do community service and fly to another country to carry out your project. Every year they are helping schools in rural areas with computers, with classroom equipment and other stuff to make school environment student friendly.”

This year’s computer award recipients from the BESG were the schools shown as follow: Buena Vista Government School; Cristo Rey R.C. School; Hidden Paradise Government School; La Gracia Government School; New Life Government School; St. Joseph R.C. School; St. Martin De Porres R.C. School; St. Matthews Government School and the St. Vicent Pallotti R.C. School.  The Department of Youth Services in Benque also received computer hardware from the Taiwanese grouping.

Such grants of computers were made possible through the efforts of a student volunteer group from the National Tsing Hua University (NTHU), which has devoted itself to primary education in the Cayo District in the last four years. According to the NTHU website, in 2010, Mr. Kieran Ryan, a former teacher at Sacred Heart Junior College, who was studying in Taiwan, had decided to initiate a project to connect elementary schools in rural areas to the internet. The administration of NTHU decided to collaborate on this project and since 2011, 15 students have also been selected every year to be a part of a group to visit Belize. The group holds educational camps geared mainly to Standard V & VI students; during the camps students learn basic computer skills and participate in cultural exchange activities. The group also provides scholarships to a number of students whose families lack resources to fund their education. Upon returning to Taiwan, the group meets with the Embassy of Belize, R.O.C. to provide an analysis of their stay in Belize with the aim to improve future visits and tackle more pressing needs.

With the use of these new computers, primary school children are learning about the World of Ubuntu and other open source application and at high schools the use of Microsoft’s Windows Operating Systems. In the rural environments lap tap use is suitable given their in built battery backup whenever there is a black out.