As the Mico University College Alumni Association (MOSA) celebrates 100 years, the organisation has outlined that its priority for the future is to continue the institution’s technological transition and infrastructure development.
MOSA has been spearheading a raft of initiatives, including the provision of technological devices and the renovation of existing classrooms. Current plans include breaking ground for a multipurpose centre that will serve as a technological hub for students.
President of MOSA, Dr Marston Thomas, shared during a Gleaner interview that the organisation’s priority is to continue its efforts at equipping teachers with the tools to function in today’s society.
“We really want to continue with our core work which is to prepare great teachers to bring the nation’s children to a level where they can fit in any part of the world … so everything that we do, whether it is making buildings, whether it is smart classrooms, all of these are geared towards graduating good teachers to help society and this nation,” Thomas said.
During 2021, the association donated over $3 million in care packages, computers, tablets, and scholarships to students in need. Weighing in on the impact of the pandemic, Thomas explained that these investments in new technology started prior to the pandemic, which limited the disruption of the teaching process.
Headlines Delivered to Your Inbox
“It caused us to get into our resources to have provided these devices, not just for the students but for the college itself. But thank God we were quick on the draw as we were changing our technology and we were equipping with the new norms with distance teaching education,” Thomas added.
Director of Alumni and Development, Sharon Wolfe, revealed that even though a small number of students deferred enrolment at the start of the pandemic, the institution is approaching its pre-pandemic enrolment rates.
She explained that the college benefited from investments from different stakeholders at the start of the pandemic.
“We had a COVID student response fund and both MOSA, corporate sponsors, in particular Digicel, assisted us, and alumni all over put together that fund so we got at least $1.5 million which we used to pay fees for students, provide devices and improve connectivity,” Wolfe said.
The institution has not increased school fees over the past three years. She explained that the college is also working to invest in solar panels to reduce the school’s electricity bill.
Going forward, other priorities outlined include making the institution self-sufficient in water. The alumni association has partnered with the school to expand the ongoing well project which aims to achieve this purpose.
Additionally, focus will be placed on ensuring that more males are enrolled at the institution.
“We want to help to see if we can have more male students on campus so our scholarships programmes will be enhanced and developed during this year,” Thomas said.
Currently, 70 per cent of the college’s 2,500 students are female.
Twenty-five scholarships valued at $3 million will be provided by MOSA in the coming year. The association will also be giving a centenary scholarship this year.
As a part of Sunday’s launch, a time capsule with memorabilia donated from the different chapters locally and internationally was prepared. The capsule is slated to be opened in 50 years.
During the yearlong celebration, MOSA will host a week of activities slated to commence on February 13.
Other events on the calendar are an Evening of Musical Excellence on May 28, an international education symposium on August 11 and MOSA’s Biennial Gold Medal Awards Banquet on November 26.