Thu | Jan 27, 2022

Maroon communities get learning devices

Published:Monday | November 29, 2021 | 12:06 AMPaul H. Williams/Gleaner Writer

Recently, students in two Maroons communities, Scotts Hall in St Mary and Charles Town in Portland, received devices to help them overcome their online learning challenges. Twenty tablets went to students at Scotts Hall Primary School, while the Charles Town Maroon Circle Learning Centre (CTMCLC) was the recipient of 20 headsets.

The gesture was a response to a request from Colonel Marcia Douglas of the Charles Town Maroons for support in procuring headsets for their homework programme at the, which was completed with funding from Starfish Foundation. Well-needed laptops are in the space, but the lack of headsets presented many communication challenges during online learning classes.

A similar request came from the Scotts Hall Maroons secretary and member of the Scotts Hall Primary Past Students Association, Jacqueline Phillips, for tablets for students in the community. They were at a disadvantage, as the Jamaican Government’s initiative to provide students with tablets targeted only children who were a part of the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education.

These requests were in response to a query from Shekhem-t Ausart, chief priestess of the Amen Amakhu Spiritual Community, through Kasike Kalaan Nibonrix Kaiman of Yukayeke Yamaye Guani (Jamaican Hummingbird Taino People), seeking to support the indigenous community of Jamaica with a focus on education. After getting the request, Shekhem-t Ausart collaborated with Nubian Heritage Arts and some alumni of Howard University to access funding. The devices were purchased through Confidence Electronics at a cost-effective rate.

In reacting to the donation, Phillips said, “The emotions are excellent. At the last PTA meeting, it was announced that the recipients are most grateful, also the parents. As leaders of the community, the gifts that we get from outside to help our community people is awesome, and we extend a tremendous amount of thanks. The tablets were well received.”

Colonel Douglas was just as elated. “The emotions are good, they can hear the classes better now. The fact that people out there care enough to give what was needed really touched the hearts of our community. The CTMCLC is grateful and appreciate those that continue to help, whether us or other groups, as people and children need help from day to day. Right now we working on funding to get more laptops and tablets for the children to use,” she said.