COVID-19 has exposed gaps in education says TerrelongeSaturday, October 02, 2021
ST CATHERINE, Jamaica—Member of Parliament for St Catherine East Central, Alando Terrelonge, has described education in the time of the novel coronavirus pandemic as challenging.
The comments came during his contribution to the State of the Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives earlier this week.
“The reality of online education has exposed the gaps in access to requisite technology across the diverse households within the constituency,” Terrelonge said. He said there was an urgent need to improve technology across the constituency at a cost that will not pit the privileged against the poor.
“The imbalance and harsh realities of rich vs poor, educated vs uneducated parents, lack of data and lack of Wi-Fi compounded by cost (and) lack of technology have shown that there is an abyss to be plugged. We must invest in the education of our young kings and queens if we are to continue paving the path to national prosperity,” Terrelonge remarked.
He outlined that since taking office as MP in 2016, he established the Terrelonge Award for Academic Excellence for Primary School Students. Each year approximately 50 top students from the Naggo Head Primary, Gregory Park Primary and Independence City Primary schools are awarded.
“With the support of corporate partners, we gave tablets to many students at our top performing primary schools. Since 2016, we have awarded academic grants, book vouchers, school bags and other academic supplies to more than 3,000 students annually, from every community across [St Catherine] East Central, as part of our back- to- school support programme. Last year, COVID-19 challenges notwithstanding, we issued $7 million in book vouchers and education grants to students from early childhood to tertiary levels,” said Terrelonge.