GDL hands over $1million to Mico University College
Philip Gore, chairman of Gore Developments Limited on February 29th handed over a $1 million lifeline to the Mico University College annual Math and Science Teachers’ Conference slated to be held in two weeks on March 19th and 20th. Mr. Gore noted that, “education is the future of Jamaica and this is the beginning of a long term relationship with Mico.”
The relationship actually began based on a news story carried by the Observer early in February where Dr. Albert Benjamin bemoaned the lack of corporate support for a Math and Science teaching conference. “Listen, this is not a sexy subject. Yet math and science are fundamental to our growth and development in Jamaica,” Dr. Benjamin, head of Natural Science and Conference Chair explained. “The Observer was gracious enough to carry our concerns and with the response from Gore Developments we received a tremendous boost. The sponsorship from Mr. Gore gave us the confidence that allowed us to move into action and pay for what we need to pay for. The Gore cheque was a game changer.”
Dr. Benjamin explained that the conference aims to give teachers tools to make math and science more relevant to students by teaching in such a way that the students can immediately see how math and science benefit them. “We have a serious problem,” Dr. Benjamin explained.
“At the fifth form level – 85% of cohort did not do physics, chemistry or biology. And as for math now, more than 60% of students over the last five years failed to receive grades 1 to 3 in math. Our students are failing math. Why is this serious? We term it a lack of mental technology.
I use this term to describe the process by which persons are educated to be viable economic contributors to society and develop meaningful careers. Personal decisions such as retirement planning, reading a light bill, reading a water bill are life challenges that are mathematically based. Bigger issues at the societal level such as our energy habits are related to math and science understanding. Without science and math, students cannot attack complex issues as they mature.” And so the support from Gore for this Conference is timely to the building of important skill sets of Jamaican youths.
Gore Developments has committed to the development of education in Jamaica. Numeracy and literacy building programmes have received keen attention from the company. Over the 2011 calendar year, Gore has funded two major University of Technology scholarships in architecture and construction management; refurbished a block of classrooms at Jamaica College and partnered with Usain Bolt to refresh the William Knibb High School dining hall, as well as a slate of other education based projects across the island.