PM hands over tablets to students in St Catherine South CentralWednesday, June 23, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— More than 30 students living in St Catherine South Central now have tablets for their online classes, thanks to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, and his Positive Jamaica Foundation.
Holness visited Harmony Hall Gospel Church on Corletts Road on July 18, and met with students from McCauley Primary, Homestead Primary and Infant, and Horizon Park Primary schools, and handed over the tablets to needy students from these schools.
The Prime Minister said the devices are needed for the advancement of students in today's society, especially with online learning.
“I have a personal commitment to education, and as I looked on the ravishes of the pandemic (COVID-19) on the country, the sector that I believe has been hit the hardest, but has not really quarrelled too much, is the education sector,” Holness said.
“It is really painful to see what has happened. Already, there was great unevenness in education. Some children do very well, primarily because there's a high correlation between household income and educational outcome, so kids whose household is fairly well off, their parents have income and they have savings; in the pandemic, they are able to access the Internet, so they are also able to continue with their learning,” he added.
But, the Prime Minister said, there are many other households in Jamaica whose children cannot access the Internet, primarily because they do not have any devices and there are those who cannot access the Internet because there is simply no internet available where they live.
“That's another challenge which we are working on,” Holness said.
He noted that the Government has put several programmes in place to assist people without devices but who have Internet in their areas.
“We have assisted students who are on the PATH programme with devices, and we have created another programme called Own Your Own Device, where we subsidise parents. We give them a grant, which partially subsidises the purchase of tablets and other devices to connect to the Internet,” he said.
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