Sat | Dec 5, 2020

Gov't, private sector embark on initiative to secure devices for 100,000 students

Published:Friday | October 30, 2020 | 10:03 AM
Education Minister Fayval Williams addressing the launch of the public-private-sector initiative 'One Laptop or Tablet Per Child' at the Jamaica Stock Exchange in downtown Kingston, on Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Government and the private sector have come together for an initiative to secure electronic devices for 100,000 Jamaican students to aid with online learning.

Under the 'One Laptop or Tablet Per Child' programme, the plan is to provide devices to 600 special needs students, 4,500 students in state care and 94,900 students who are not beneficiaries of the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH). 

An estimated $4.5 billion is required for the full implementation of the project.

Dr Grace McLean, acting chief education officer in the Ministry of Education, has indicated that though online classes are most practical in the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of students are still not being reached.

“Education is essential for productivity and competitiveness. Prolonged breaks in education provision or a deep deterioration in its quality will hurt Jamaica’s long-term economic competitiveness.”

Among the donors so far are the National Commercial Bank Foundation, which has pledged $50 million, JMMB’s Joan Duncan Foundation with $10 million and the Jamaica Teachers’ Association has pledged $1 million.

While many private sector companies have come on board, education minister, Fayval Williams, issued a call of action to all Jamaicans living in the country and in the Diaspora to contribute.

“This tells me that Jamaicans, when they open their hearts, we can get miracles happening. You are going to see the results from the education sector. I know that learning will be accelerated, it will be enriched,” Williams remarked.

How to donate using the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange:
Go to https://jsse.jamstockex.com/ and click projects, then “One Laptop or Tablet Per Child Initiative.
There are three options for making a donation:
Option 1: Make a pledge
Option 2: Make a payment with a credit card
Option 3: Contact the JSSE directly at 876-322-4505 or 876-967-3271 to obtain bank account information, to facilitate wire transfers.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.