Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams, is calling for more support for the Ministry’s ‘One Laptop or Tablet per Child’ initiative.
The programme, which was launched in October 2020, aims to lobby and galvanise the support of the private sector, the donor community, the diaspora and the general public to provide devices for 100,000 vulnerable students.
So far, cash donations and pledges totalling $97.9 million have been received to purchase devices.
The donations and pledges have been made by several partners, including the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE) and National Commercial Bank (NCB) Foundation.
The number of computers that have been donated separately from cash donations since the initiative commenced include 5,585 tablets and 147 laptops, which have been processed and distributed.
Speaking during Tuesday’s (January 12) sitting of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Williams expressed “a big thank you” to all stakeholders and interests “who stepped forward to help in this initiative to assist needy students to participate in the digital teaching and learning process”.
They include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, consuls general, members of the diaspora, corporate entities, and alumni associations
“Our own National Education Trust has collaborated with the PSOJ, NCB Foundation, Jamaica Social Stock Exchange and Junior Achievement Jamaica to provide mechanisms for the collection of donations in the form of monetary donations or in-kind (devices donated),” the Minister said.
“Please continue to make your donations to help us reach the goal of 100,000 devices and ensure that each student in Jamaica is equipped with devices to gain the 21st century skills needed in our workforce,” she added.
Mrs. Williams further stated that the various partners’ assistance “is enabling the Ministry to bridge the digital divide and help our children to continue with their education”.