No device, no Internet, mother uses wireless connection from business place to keep 9-year-old in touch with schoolThursday, September 16, 2021
BY BRITTNY HUTCHINSON
It has been over a week since online classes have resumed for the new school year, but nine-year-old Jabari Fogo has been absent due to not having an electronic device.
His mother, 30-year-old Nicola Clarke, told the Jamaica Observer that she and her son would usually sit at the roadside in their Orange Street community in Kingston to access Internet service from a nearby business, as it is not strong enough to connect at her home.
“I would use the Internet to check messages in the school group instead of trying to get into the online classes because my phone will not stay on, so I have to keep it on the charge. Is a neighbour lend me this phone until I can buy one. I am trying to get it,” said Clarke.
“On Monday the teacher sent his student code and said that he needs to be in class and I just said, 'I am working on it', because I was trying to get assistance with a tablet. I want to take him from the roadside and get him in the yard because of the cars passing by out there,” added Clarke.
Jabari is a grade five student at the Rennock Lodge All-Age School in Rockfort, east Kingston.
His mother, who is a domestic worker, explained that due to financial challenges exacerbated by the novel coronavirus pandemic, she is unable to purchase his back-to-school supplies. Instead, she would collect old books for his grade level to teach him lessons.
“If neighbours throwing out the books I would just take them and I would teach him based on the syllabus and I even try to break down the mathematics problems for him. I am trying my best to assist him,” said the concerned mother.
“To be honest the father assists when he can, or when he feels like. So it is not really going well and because you know you have to try and make the little dollars stretch. Even for the lockdowns I have to buy more food although I am not getting much money,” she added.
Clarke said she would be grateful for any help she can get.
“If you can render some assistance to me, I would truly be appreciative of it, because time is very hard, so I would give God thanks for that,” said Clarke.