Fri | Dec 4, 2020

Hanover primary schools get promised MOE tablets

Published:Sunday | November 22, 2020 | 8:02 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
Sandy Bay Primary School grade four student Justin Brooks shows off his newly acquired tablet with Hanover Eastern Member of Parliament Dave Brown.
Sandy Bay Primary School grade four student Justin Brooks shows off his newly acquired tablet with Hanover Eastern Member of Parliament Dave Brown.

Western Bureau:

All 31 primary schools in Hanover have now received their quota of tablets under the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) E-Learning project for students registered under the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).

The last set of presentations were made on Thursday to Lucea Primary and Sandy Bay Primary.

Education Minister Fayval Williams said the presentations formed part of the Government’s distribution of 40,000 tablets targeting grades four, five and six PATH students.

“There are two reasons for doing this initiative: our PATH students are the most economically challenged in our country at this time, and additionally, grades four, five and six are the grades at which you prepare for the exams, and so we want them to be ready,” said Williams, who noted that the next round of tablet/laptop distribution will be to PATH students in grades 10 and 11 in high schools.

The minister said that the Government was not only assisting families registered with PATH, but also others who were facing challenges.

“We are giving to those families vouchers valued at $20,000 to be able to purchase or go towards the purchase of a tablet or laptop, and that programme is in effect ... until the 4th of December,” said Williams.

In speaking to the Internet connectivity issues, which is preventing many students from participating in online classes, Williams said efforts were being made to bring those students on board.

“We are not in normal times. We are living through a pandemic and we can’t just throw up our hands. We still have to engage our students to ensure that they are learning, even while they are at home,” said Williams, who added that the ongoing face-to-face pilot teaching and learning programme is part of the remedy to fix that situation.

“I have every hope that we will get through it (the pandemic), and at the end of it, when all our students are back in school again, they will continue to use the technology in their hands because we want Jamaica to become a digital society, to be knowledge-based, and it is our young people who we are going to depend on to make that a reality,” added Williams.

Approximately 1,400 tablets have been distributed to the 31 primary-level schools in Hanover.

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