Tue | Jul 23, 2024

Chinese Embassy establishes friendship with local special needs school

Published:Monday | May 27, 2024 | 12:12 AMAinsworth Morris/Staff Reporter
Chinese Ambassador Chen Daojiang (left) speaks with Natasha Russell (right), principal of Earnest Institute For the Gifted, Hyperactive & Talented (E.I.G.H.T.), while her son, Ethan Russell-Douglas, and Marsha Smith, state minister in the Ministry of Educa
Chinese Ambassador Chen Daojiang (left) speaks with Natasha Russell (right), principal of Earnest Institute For the Gifted, Hyperactive & Talented (E.I.G.H.T.), while her son, Ethan Russell-Douglas, and Marsha Smith, state minister in the Ministry of Education and Youth, look on during the unveiling ceremony of (E.I.G.H.T.) as a ‘Family of China-Jamaica Friendship” at the school on King Street in Kingston last Tuesday.

As part of its efforts to bolster the relationship between Jamaica and China, the Chinese Embassy in Kingston has adopted special needs institution Earnest Institute For the Gifted, Hyperactive & Talented (E.I.G.H.T.) on King Street in downtown Kingston.

E.I.G.H.T. is a special education primary school started three years ago, during the COVID-19 pandemic, by the mother of a special needs child, Natasha Russell.

The formal announcement was made last Tuesday on the campus of E.I.G.H.T where the school unveiled a sign identifying it as a member of the “Family of China-Jamaica Friendship”, together with Chinese Ambassador Chen Daojiang.

The honour was to mark the friendship between the Chinese embassy and the school and showcase support for E.I.G.H.T.

“E.I.G.H.T. has a commitment to special education in Jamaica and plays a unique role in the implementation of compulsory education in Jamaica and the realisation of the full potential of special children. Today we are hosting an unveiling ceremony and awarding E.I.G.H.T. the title of the first ‘Family of China-Jamaica Friendship’. In the future, the Chinese Embassy will provide E.I.G.H.T. with sustained and solid support in various areas, and create more cooperation opportunities such as training in China and inter-school exchanges, to support E.I.G.H.T. in improving its teaching environment and competence, thereby providing better education for local special children,” Daojiang said.

“The Chinese Embassy will continue to support the Confucius Institute in conducting E.I.G.H.T. Chinese language training to help students utilise their language skills and expand their international horizon. In the future, the students could achieve better development and become new envoys of China-Jamaica friendship,” he said.

Daojiang said he hoped E.I.G.H.T. will continue to advocate, promote and spread the friendship between the two nations, and actively participate in efforts to cooperate on projects aimed at advancing education on the island.

“As always, China will work with Jamaica to deepen our countries’ strategic partnership, strengthen our countries’ practical cooperation in education, culture and other fields, jointly implement the Global Development Initiative to bring more opportunities, and together build a closer community with a shared future for China and Jamaica,” Daojiang said.

ainsworth.morris@gleanerjm.com