Tue | Jan 18, 2022

FHC answers the call to equip students for online learning

Published:Thursday | December 2, 2021 | 12:06 AMAsha Wilks/Gleaner Writer -
Fayval Williams (third right), minister of education, youth and information; Trudy-Ann Stewart (second left), branch manager of First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union Limited (FHC), Kingston Gardens branch; Jermaine Loutin (third left), principal of King
Fayval Williams (third right), minister of education, youth and information; Trudy-Ann Stewart (second left), branch manager of First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union Limited (FHC), Kingston Gardens branch; Jermaine Loutin (third left), principal of Kingston High School; Joyce Samuels (second right), teacher of Kingston High; and Michelle Tracey (right), assistant general manager of FHC, pose with students after they were presented with tablets by the FHC at Kingston Gardens branch on East Avenue on Tuesday.

The First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union Limited (FHC), Kingston Gardens branch, donated 10 tablets to students of Kingston High School on Tuesday who had been unable to access their online classes due to a lack of device.

Trudy-Ann Stewart, branch manager, expressed that the FHC team is delighted to partner with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information’s (MOEYI) ‘One Laptop or Tablet Per Child’ initiative which was launched in October.

The initiative strives to foster inclusiveness in education.

“We know that this initiative will go a very long way and so we are delighted to be with you here today,” she added.

Stewart also challenged the six students who were present at the handover event to continue in their efforts in striving for excellence while working hard to gain success.

Education Minister Fayval Williams, who was in attendance lending a hand to distribute devices, expressed being pleased to be able to join in the occasion.

“I know many of you might not have had your own device but over time our goal is to ensure that all our students will have a device and you’ll become more knowledgeable as the months and years go by,” said Williams, while noting that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been increased use of technologies that will continue on after the pandemic has subsided.

“It is our hope that technology will help you learn more, learn faster, learn deeper and that at the end of your journey in the education sector, you will be among the ranks of students considered [as] high-performing or high-achieving students,” she added, expressing that this is something the ministry would like to see across all schools.

She assured students and teachers that, while the ministry is working to return as many schools as possible to face-to-face modalities, technology will not be left behind in future educational efforts.

This is so as more educational material will also be added on to the devices of students and teachers, such as textbooks to ensure more students gain access.

“We want you to still have your devices in the classroom for teachers to be comfortable using it … and we want you to use your devices wisely, mostly for education.”

Williams stated that the MOEYI is working diligently with the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology to ensure that all schools in Jamaica will have adequate connectivity within classrooms and around the schools' compounds, emphasising that devices are just one avenue to connect with virtual spaces, as connectivity remains an issue.

As Jamaicans gear up to face and overcome the COVID-19 virus, Williams explained that these are some of the changes that will be implemented in the educational sector to continue the learning process and recover what has been lost.

asha.wilks@gleanerjm.com