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Published 7th June 2006, 2:22pm

Savannah Primary School last week received a donation of IT equipment from Bank Austria Cayman Islands Ltd., to assist students at the school with their studies and development of their IT skills.

The donation follows the theft of PC's and similar equipment from Savannah Primary School in February of this year. Whilst the stolen equipment was swiftly replaced following the incident, the new computers are a welcome addition to the schools' current inventory of ICT tools.

Savannah Primary School Principal, Mrs. Lorna Blackman, was thrilled to receive the donation. She remarked, "The PCs were donated at the perfect time because we are excited about two new programs that will begin in September 2006 here at Savannah Primary." She added, "Both programs utilize computers and so the PCs will be used by teachers and children in classrooms, the library and the Reading Resource Room."

The Minister of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports & Culture, Honourable Alden McLaughlin, also expressed his delight following the bank's donation. "Developing ICT in schools is one of our core focuses in the reform process. Use of information technology has a beneficial role to play in all of our key strategies, and is an essential component of education for both teachers and students alike" said the Minister. "I commend the bank for its generosity and I am sure that students and staff will benefit tremendously".

Mr. Mark Whiteside, Vice President, Manager of Banking Operations and I.T., for Bank Austria Cayman Islands Ltd., expressed his best wishes for the school during the presentation of the machines, which took place at the Bank's offices in George Town. He said, "The need to combine ICT services with education is something we believe in strongly. As such the bank is proud to support any efforts to educate the children and adults in our community using the latest technology. We would also encourage other financial institutions to participate in this effort."

The donation comprises ten PCs and ten 15" flat screens, which had originally been ear-marked for the East End Learning Centre. Whilst renovations are still underway at the East End centre, the Bank recognized the opportunity for Savannah Primary School to benefit from the computers. Mr. Whiteside said, "We decided to donate the computers to Savannah Primary, whose computers were stolen."

Bank Austria intends to fulfill its original plans to make a similar donation to the East End Learning Center upon completion of on-going restoration work. Mr. Whiteside added, "We will also honour our commitment to retool the East End Learning Center when the building has been completely restored."

Mrs. Lorna Blackman, Principal of Savannah Primary School (centre) receives the computers from Ms. J. Rosalie Jamieson, AVP Financial Controller (right), and Justin Miller, Data & IT Analyst (left) of Bank Austria Cayman Ltd.
Mrs. Lorna Blackman, Principal of Savannah Primary School (centre) receives the computers from Ms. J. Rosalie Jamieson, AVP Financial Controller (right), and Justin Miller, Data & IT Analyst (left) of Bank Austria Cayman Ltd.