Black Immigrant Daily News
Founders of the Cari-Med Group of Companies, Glen and Marva Christian have announced a personal pledge of US$1 million to a capital campaign to construct a national STEM Centre in St Andrew.
The Christians made the announcement at the recent opening of the Cari-Med Group’s new distribution centre in Bernard Lodge, St Catherine on Friday, January 27.
The STEM Centre will operate as an arm of the Mico University College and be dedicated primarily to training teachers to deliver a STEM curriculum.
It will facilitate the development of joint programmes with teachers’ colleges island-wide to provide training for in-service and pre-service teachers.
It will include STEM labs, physics, math and science labs as well as lecture and seminar rooms. Construction and equipment are projected to cost some US$50 million.
In his address, the Cari-Med chairman lamented the ongoing loss of skilled persons to migration, noting that at the same time, the number of persons qualified for technical jobs was declining.
Referencing the government’s intention to build STEM schools, Christian called on the business community to support these and similar initiatives.
“…Government can’t do it alone. As business persons, it is in our own self-interest to support these efforts, not as a charity but as an investment.
The private sector is the engine of growth, and if we don’t have skilled, qualified people who are analytical, innovative, and creative, how will we increase production and profits? “
The Capital Campaign will be coordinated by the Jamaica STEM for Growth Taskforce comprising a cross-section of private and public sector representatives.
Members include Howard Mitchell, Butch Hendrickson, Minna Israel, Douglas Orane, Dr Kasan Troupe (Ministry of Education); Dr Asburn Pinnock, Dr Albert Benjamin (MICO) Professor Michael Taylor and Dr Andre Coy (UWI), public relations executive Belinda Williams, Caron Chung, Executive Director of the American Friends of Jamaica; and Marlon Lindsay, CEO of 21st CenturyEd, a US-based STEM Consultancy.