93 per cent of Daniel Town Primary students now with tablets after Trelawny Gun Club's donationThursday, August 26, 2021
BY HORACE HINES
DANIEL TOWN, Trelawny — The recent donation of 22 tablets to Daniel Town Primary School in Trelawny by members of the Trelawny Gun Club has resulted in 93 per cent of students at the institution now equipped with devices to participate in online learning when the new academic year commences in September.
Besides, according to Latoya Harris, director, Donar and Partnership Management at the National Education Trust, the gun club's donation ushered the One Laptop/Tablet per Child initiative to within 20 per cent of its 100,000 mark.
Last year, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information officially launched its 'One Laptop or Tablet Per Child' initiative, which is designed to promote inclusivity in the education sector.
It aims to provide needy students with the requisite tools to function in the online teaching and learning environment.
This includes ensuring equity in access to information and communications technology (ICT)-based learning.
“We oversee and handle all logistics with respect to the One Laptop or Tablet Per Child initiative. The Trelawny Gun Club has donated 22 devices to the Daniel Town Primary and that is what we handed over today [last Friday]. The great thing about this initiative is that it has pushed it to the hedge of getting to 20 per cent of our target of getting 100,000 devices in. So we are at 20 per cent,” Harris told the Jamaica Observer West.
Principal of the Daniel Town Primary School, Tameika Williamson, expressed her gratitude to the members of the gun club whose contribution of 22 tablets has left only 10 of the roughly 150 students at the school without a device to access online learning.
“I am ecstatic that our children are recipients of these devices from the Trelawny Gun Club. This would have satisfied the needs of 93 per cent. So 93 per cent of our student population now have devices to use for online school. Come September we only have another seven per cent of students to sort out before September so this is a real big help from the Trelawny Gun Club,” expressed Williamson.
President of the 72-member Trelawny Gun Club, David McConnell, gave a commitment that the bird game hunters will source the additional 10 devices for the students in time for the September start of school.
“There are 10 more students who need tablets so we are going back to our membership to get them to ensure 100 per cent of our children here are equipped with these devices when school reopens,” McConnell assured.
Harris, who also thanked the gun club for their benevolence, appealed for all hands on deck to contribute to the One Laptop/Tablet per Child initiative.
“The important thing about this (Trelawny Gun Club's) donation is that this school is now at 93 per cent. So 93 per cent of its students have a device and the club has indicated that they want to get the school at 100 [per cent]. So they have committed additional resources to ensure that all students have,” Harris expressed.
“So I just want to say thanks to the gun club and encourage other persons to give because we are getting the devices into the hands of the students all over Jamaica that are in need. This is how they are going to learn, this is how they are going to integrate into the world economy so we have to equip them with the tools to participate in that from now.”
The donation came on the eve of the Saturday, August 21 start of the bird shooting season and McConnell explained that for decades, members of the bird hunting game club, drawn from all across the island, hunt birds in bushes surrounding the Daniel Town community.
“The Trelawny Gun Club is a members' club and we benefit from the area, we shoot in the area with a lot of these students' parents and we decided during the [novel coronavirus] pandemic, because of the restrictions of no face-to face school and the emergence of virtual classes, some of the rural children will get left behind. We saw it in our best interest to put together and buy as many as possible. So we see it as our part of giving back to the community that we come up and spend so much time in,” McConnell remarked.
Richard Fraser, honorary secretary at the Trelawny Gun Club, argued that the Daniel Town community “is one that is dear to our hearts”.
He was happy that among the recipients was the son of “my birdman”, Wayne Reid.
“We are grateful for it, man. My son, Antwayne, is going to grade four. I work with them [members of the gun club] every season to pick up birds,” Reid, the proud father, stated.