THE Ministry of Education's 'One Laptop or Tablet per Child' initiative received a significant boost yesterday when the Chinese firm Huawei donated 500 devices to be given out to Jamaican students.
In accepting the donation, Minister of Education, Youth and Information Fayval Williams noted that more than 6,000 devices had already been received by the ministry under the initiative but argued that this was still not enough.
In calling for even more donations, Williams declared that moving Jamaican children into the world of technology was one of her goals.
“Recently we have begun to get students back into the face-to-face mode… but regardless of whether or not we come back to full face-to-face, technology will remain a permanent part of our education system,” said Williams during a presentation by Huawei at the education ministry's headquarters in Kingston.
“We have a vision of becoming a developed country by 2030 and we cannot hope to do that without our students, and our citizenry as a whole, becoming enabled with the technology,” added Williams.
Addressing the handing-over ceremony, regional executive for Huawei Technologies Bo Zhou noted that as a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, Huawei has been operating in Jamaica for more than 14 years and has been dedicated to supporting the local ICT development.
“First we have been working together with telecoms carriers and partners to ensure high-quality network connectivity and services. Second, we cooperate with government authorities, education institutions, and social organisations together for a continuous support in digital equal education and ICT talents education,” said Zhou.
“Huawei is committed to supporting the development of Jamaica, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank government authorities, media and all our industry partners, for your joint efforts, and your constant strong support trust and support to Huawei,” added Zhou.
Huawei had previously donated 200 tablets to students of The University of the West Indies and the University of Technology, Jamaica.
In applauding Huawei for its donations, China's Ambassador to Jamaica Tian Qi, who addressed yesterday's presentation by video, argued that the company has repeatedly displayed its commitment to Jamaica.
“During this exceptional period of the devastating pandemic, it is extremely important to make sure that no child in Jamaica is left behind because of the digital deficit,” said the ambassador as he declared that China stands ready to continue working with Jamaica in the areas of science, technology, education, human resources and information.