Opening of Technology Center Highlights Oranje School 160th Anniversary Celebrations


Although the curtain came down Saturday with a festive dance at Port de Plaisance with the Control Band in control, the opening of the Technology and Research Lab of the Oranje School during the week was the main highlight of the celebrations of the institution’s 160th anniversary.

Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs, Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, opened the ultra-modern Technology center in a colorful ceremony last Wednesday, marked by a hands-on demonstration of how the center will be put to work in the benefit of the students in a 21st Century learning environment.


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"I am particularly impressed by the way the Oranje School has gone about establishing this ‘Technology and Research Lab’. That is what I call innovation: using an existing infrastructure to launch an ultra-modern facility" the Minister said in her address at the inauguration of the center.

She was referring to the transformation of a large classroom into five smaller learning environments consisting of a lecture area, a brainstorming area, the science area, a group work table and computer workstations equipped with 15 computers.

The Technology Center is the first of its kind in the Public School system. It also has a large screen, two scanners, a printer, two digital video cameras, and two digital cameras, which some students made use of to record the inauguration ceremony for the school’s newsletter. Two of the students interviewed Minister Arrindell and asked her probing questions, while others gave live demonstrations of weather reports for television audiences.

"I am really impressed by what I saw," the Minister commented. "The students will definitely grow into first-class professionals if they continue in this track," she added.

Dr. Arrindell said that the inauguration of the technology center falls within her goals of "a systematic use of ICT in all schools" which would ensure that "all students have access to computers and the Internet and that they are used systematically throughout our school curriculum."

"I strongly believe that in this 21st Century, all St. Martin students must be computer literate and Internet–savvy," she said.

The Minister applauded the Oranje School, the oldest institution of learning on the island, for "being a pioneer in education as you have been for the past 160 years" and expressed the wish that "the success of this initiative will inspire and stimulate other schools to emulate and replicate it, where it does not already exist."