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Pratville Primary alumna, JMMB gift school with tablets

Published:Friday | May 7, 2021 | 12:13 AM

SHERON GILZEAN, general manager, JMMB Insurance Brokers and proud alumna of Pratville Primary School in south Manchester, and vice-chair of the school board, joined forces with the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation to provide tablets to students at her alma mater.

The alumna shared that she was motivated to assist the school to continue its solid legacy in producing well-rounded students, and, as such, she sought to do her part to ensure no student is left behind and is afforded the best educational opportunities.

Gilzean further revealed, “I have such fond memories of my school days at Pratville Primary and I credit it, in part, for helping to shape me and I want to ensure the school continues to shape young minds positively. So, when COVID-19 cases began to surge in Jamaica and schools were forced to adopt remote learning, I reached out to the Foundation for assistance to support financially challenged students who were not able to be actively engaged in lessons due to a lack of devices and connectivity issues, and I am happy that my Foundation responded to this need.”


Principal of Pratville Primary, Tameika Swaby-Johnson, in thanking the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation and other donors for answering the call; also applauded Gilzean for her role as an advocate for the cause. She outlined that these devices and Internet connectivity have enabled her students to keep pace with their curriculum and other initiatives. “The donation of these devices has afforded the students the opportunity to be more involved and even participate in competitions and other regular activities, in fact, my students were placed second in the (Ministry of Education, Youth and Information’s) Region Five Math Competition (held in March).”

Swaby-Johnson in celebrating the silver lining of the crisis, noted that due to remote learning in the pandemic, her students have benefited from the donation of devices and as a result, “they have become more attuned to technology… (in addition) they are able to (further) develop their critical thinking skills (as they engage in independent learning); they are also more inquisitive as knowledge is more readily available (at their fingertips); thereby becoming true 21st century learners”.

Kim Mair, chief executive officer of the foundation outlined, “We are always happy to come on board to support initiatives involving our team members, especially as they seek to make a positive contribution to our society and to help individuals to unearth their greatness.”

The donation is a part of the ‘One Laptop or Tablet Per Child’ initiative spearheaded by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information through its agency, the National Education Trust and Junior Achievement Jamaica. The initiative is aimed at providing 100,000 students with devices to enable full participation in online teaching and learning.

The foundation has donated 400 tablets to 32 primary schools islandwide to assist vulnerable students to fully participate in online learning. This is in keeping with the organisation’s commitment to develop the youth through education and empower them to lead transformed lives.