BPTT brings hope to Signal Hill students

Monday, April 23, 2017

Hope came unexpectedly and in abundance for 27 students of Signal Hill Secondary School who are benefitting from the complete refurbishment of the school’s computer lab. The project was financed by BP Trinidad and Tobago, and marked by a handing-over ceremony at the school on Monday, April 16th.

The project was also achieved through collaboration with the Tobago House of Assembly’s Division of Education, Innovation and Energy. Delivering the feature address at the handover was Assemblywoman Marisha Osmond, Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Chief Secretary, Tobago House of Assembly.

“I am a graduate of this great school, and as a past teacher also, I can understand every aspect of the challenges of education. This is indeed a benchmark contribution to the school and I can testify that BPTT has made sterling investments in young people all across Tobago in areas such as academics, sports and culture. This isn’t just a classroom – it is a gateway to the future. Signal Hill and BPTT have set a great example for us, and we must all do our part in providing opportunities for young people by fostering an empowered and productive population,” Osmond explained.

The Signal Hill students are carded to write the Electronic Document Preparation and Management (EDPM) subject as part of their Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations during the month of May, but were deprived of a functional computer lab until BPTT intervened.

Encouraging the students was Joel Primus, Community Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Advisor, BPTT, “When we got the request from Signal Hill, we immediately understood the critical need of the students and responded with urgency. BPTT is committed to the development of our nation and nowhere is this more important than in creating opportunities for young people to achieve their full potential. As you go on to achieve success in your exams, just remember that it’s never too early to think about your careers. Right now, young people are transforming the world with technology-based companies. I look forward to seeing how you will change the world for the better.”

“The late leader, Nelson Mandela once said, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go together.’ Just as we have partnered with the Tobago House of Assembly and Signal Hill Secondary for this project, I hope that you all partner with each other as students and friends and take Tobago ever further along the pathway to a brighter future of sustainable development,” Primus added. 

With the EDPM examination scheduled for early May, BPTT was able to complete the project in the two weeks of the Easter vacation, ensuring that the lab was fully functional for the opening of the new school term. The project encompassed the installation of new, networked computers, whiteboards, a printer and projector as well as refurbishment of the air-conditioning units, electrical installations and the general aesthetics of the lab.

Given this level of support, the students have already committed to a non-stop schedule of study and practice that will centre on use of the new computer lab. 

According to ecstatic student, Samantha George, “To be completely honest, we were very despondent when we were confronted with the possibility that we might not get a fair chance to succeed in the EDPM exams. Then we were told that BPTT would be helping us and it felt so good to come out to the first day of the new term and walk into our brand new computer lab. We’re going to work hard together to ensure that we repay this investment in us. BPTT has energised us to achieve great things and we are truly grateful to them and everyone else who contributed to this wonderful project.”

Also giving kudos to the construction of the lab was School Supervisor III, Sherry-Anne Rollocks-Hackett, “Education concerns society as a whole and as the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. BPTT has demonstrated that they are a conscientious member of our national village and by investing in young people; they are creating a better reality. Although these students are tech-savvy, the staff and administration of Signal Hill have shown them another aspect of ‘networking’ and its benefits. I expect great things from these students and many more students of Signal Hill to come.”

Signal Hill Secondary’s principal, Allyson Potts, was also happy for the timely intervention of BPTT and noted that under the guidance of their EDPM Coordinator, Pearl Alman-George, they were accustomed to attaining a 100 percent pass rate in this subject.

An emotional Alman-George echoed the sentiments of all for the handover, “These students were patient, and although it was difficult, they never gave up hope. That’s what BPTT means to them right now – the realisation of their deepest hopes. I’ll be retiring soon, but I know that with this computer lab, Signal Hill students will benefit for years to come and they will continue to be our shining beacons on the hill.”

"BPTT has demonstrated that they are a conscientious member of our national village and by investing in young people; they are creating a better reality."