Education minister highlights partnership in tablets in schools programmeSunday, January 31, 2021
ST JAMES, Jamaica— Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Fayval Williams, says the partnership between the public and private sectors has greatly enhanced the Government's 'Tablets in Schools Programme', bringing closer the reality of digitally empowering students islandwide.
Speaking at a ceremony for the handover of tablet computers to students at the Hopewell Primary School in Watchwell, St Elizabeth, on January 27, Williams said that while the main objective has always been to provide needy students with the tools to facilitate online learning, the tablets will still be useful to them “even during the post-COVID era.”
“We want to thank all our private sector partners for their support in this most worthy of initiatives. We also want to give a special shout out to the Seprod Foundation and also the American Friends of Jamaica for their assistance in providing tablets for our students…a great investment and one that will help them to manage themselves better in the online world,” she said.
The minister noted that the interest being shown by a number of local companies, including members of the overseas Diaspora, cannot be overstated, adding that the gesture is good and beneficial for the nation's children in their quest for knowledge and also in preparing for the long road ahead.
In the meantime, the education minister also made it clear that the tablets in school initiative was well underway before the COVID-19 pandemic, “but it has forced us to accelerate the programme.”
“Our teachers must also be commended for taking the time to successfully complete their training, so as to have a better grasp of the technology, so that they could create these virtual classrooms for the students,” Williams said.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, said the tablets will greatly enhance the learning experience of the students of Hopewell Primary, and could not have come at a better time.
Green, who is also Member of Parliament for St Elizabeth South West, added that he is particularly happy for those parents who would not have been able to afford the devices.
“Education is an important investment…the best investment a parent can make in the lives of their children,” he said.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of the Seprod Foundation, Lisa D'Oyen, said that in conjunction with the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ), her company is proud to donate devices in support of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information's 'A Device for Every Child – Bridging the Digital Divide' initiative.
“We successfully distributed 200 tablets between October and November of last year, and we are embarking on a distribution of an additional 320 tablets across 10 schools this month,” she noted.