On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, Canaries Primary School received their new multimedia smart classroom, a gift from the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Saint Lucia. The west coast school is the final of eight schools across the island to receive 65” interactive smart screens and camera equipment this year to make learning more interactive and fun.
His Excellency Peter Chia-yen Chen, Taiwan’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, joined Hon. Wayne Girard, Member of Parliament for Anse La Raye/Canaries, school principal, Mrs. Flora Deterville, and Mrs. Joel Charles-Charlemagne, Education Officer for District Eight, for the official handover ceremony held at the school.
Ambassador Chen said that while the handover ceremony at Canaries Primary School marked the completion of the smart classroom programme, it also opened a new door for cutting-edge education experience in Saint Lucia. He noted that while people will not always have equal talents, they should at least have an equal opportunity to develop their talents.
“We all know how information and communications technology (ICT) has impacted people’s lives,” Ambassador Chen stated. “That’s why the Governments of Taiwan and Saint Lucia have been working hand in hand to implement the ICT in Education Programme. The establishment of smart classrooms is one of the crucial components of this project which aims to provide power to build smarter learning environments, and to empower teachers and students to reach their aspirations and goals by accelerating the transition to e-education and smart education.”
Ambassador Chen added: “By working together, Taiwan and Saint Lucia will expand the establishment of a more inclusive and equitable quality education for the new generation in Saint Lucia.”
Hon. Girard, who is also Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Youth Economy, thanked the Government of Taiwan for yet again coming to Saint Lucia’s assistance in such a meaningful way. He also had some words of advice for the students.
“Please dream and believe that you can do anything that you want to achieve,” he said. “Where you’re from or where your parents are from should not matter. Anything that you decide to do with your life, you can achieve. I am a product of this community and I was able to achieve quite a bit in my life.”
School principal, Flora Deterville, thanked the Taiwanese Embassy, which partnered with the e-Learning Academy at Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) to install the new equipment and internet connection in the classroom.
“This wonderful gift ensures that the students of our small village are not left behind in the rapidly changing global scene where technology is king,” she said. “The teachers have been provided with the necessary skills to use this fascinating environment to its full potential.”
She added: “Our students are all enthusiastic and more than ready to explore and learn using this new medium. The global pandemic taught us to value and prepare for a world without the face-to-face classroom. Thanks to this timely initiative, we are now better equipped to face that challenge. With readily accessible online resources and interactive media, a new day has dawned for Canaries Primary School.”
Meanwhile, Mrs. Joel Charles-Charlemagne, Education Officer for District Eight, thanked the Taiwanese Embassy for its generosity, noting that Canaries Primary, Soufriere Primary and Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary were three of the schools from District Eight to benefit from the initiative.
“The quality of education is heavily reliant on a technology-based curriculum married with existing effective teaching and learning strategies,” she said. “We urgently need to rise to and keep up with the pace of the new tech era or else we are doomed for failure. So we thank you for your interest in the progress and reform of our education sector to be more 21st-century relevant and compliant.”
As part of its mandate to assist the socio-development of Saint Lucia, the Government of Taiwan has pledged to equip primary and secondary schools in Saint Lucia with smart technology.