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Jun 2, 2005

U.B. gives computers to primary school

Story PictureAs the academic year comes to a close, a lot of students are doing class projects. But one group of students at the University of Belize has not only refurbished some computers, they networked them and then donated the whole set to a primary school. It is a gift which taught both the university students and the children the value of passing on what you have learned. Patrick Jones reports.

Patrick Jones, Reporting
With excitement in their eyes, students of Valley of Peace Christian School christened the donated computers. According to Principal Rolando Cowo, a computer lab has always been on the institution?s wish-list.

Rolando Cowo, Principal
?That?s about one of the best things that could happen to our school. Since from a long time we have wanted this to happen to your school.?

Patrick Jones
?How many students or how many people stand to benefit from this donation??

Rolando Cowo
?Immediately? All the students, that?s about over two hundred students. And in fact, there are other students from the other school that have asked can we come in the afternoons and I said yes, you can come. So it?s maybe even up to three hundred students.?

Six computers were donated by the University of Belize, through its Information Technology course. Lecturer Antonio Crespo says they are part of a final grade project for the students who had to rebuild machines that were contributed by the community.

Antonio Crespo, I.T. Lecturer, University of Belize
?These computers are part of a diskless network. One of the components of those systems that is the most problematic we found out is the hard disk drive. So after trying, we find out that it won?t be possible for us to have a network or a group of computers working with its own hard disk drive. So we decide to just install a Linux server and to set up a diskless network.?

Rolando Cowo
?We are going to have the students using them on a regular basis, almost on a daily basis by groups. We are going to start with standard five and standard six students. We are going to have some in the afternoon also.?

The children will learn basic word processing and also utilize educational games included on the system. Crespo says it is a good way to introduce the next generation of Belizeans to the world of computers.

Antonio Crespo
?I will say in this process we had recycled equipment from the community. We have used it for learning purposes and eventually we were able to bring it back to the community again. And in the process, everybody learned and everybody was happy; those who donated, those who learned and those who received the donation afterwards.?

And while its difficult to put a price tag to the donation, one parent we spoke with says the benefits to the community are far reaching.

Tomas Arturo Galdamez, Parent
?Well I think that these computers will help my children with their schoolwork. I feel very happy, since they have an opportunity that I didn?t have when I was younger. If I get the chance I will also try to use the computer. ?

Patrick Jones, for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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