Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams, on Tuesday (November 10), outlined the details of the voucher incentive programme, through which the Government is assisting with the purchase of a tablet or laptop for students who are in need but are not on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
Dubbed the ‘Own Your Own Device Incentive Programme’, the initiative will benefit an estimated 36,000 needy students in primary and secondary schools across the island.
Mrs. Williams said that under the programme, parents or guardians will receive an electronic voucher (eVoucher) valued at $20,000 for the purchase of a device from an approved vendor.
“Parents or guardians will be responsible for the difference in the cost of the laptop or tablet,” she said, while addressing the sitting of the House of Representatives at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
Providing details on the programme, Mrs. Williams explained that parents or guardians can apply through oyod.educate.gov.jm, or via a manual numbered application form available from their respective Members of Parliament (MP) or the Ministry’s regional offices.
The website will begin accepting applications on November 17, 2020 and the process will close on December 4, 2020. Distribution of the manual numbered application forms by the MPs will also commence on November 17.
“The information via the website and the manual numbered application form will be verified to ensure the integrity of the application process and that there is no duplication of applications or devices to any one student,” Mrs. Williams said.
Verification of students’ information, as well as Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) for parents or guardians, will be done by way of the electronic National Student Registration System (NSRS) and Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ), respectively.
Mrs. Williams outlined that each MP will receive 250 manually numbered application forms in sequence for distribution to parents of students who are not on PATH.
All areas on the form must be completed, and copied or reprinted forms will be rejected, as these will not bear the security feature.
Information from the application form must be uploaded on the oyod.educate.gov.jm website before December 4, 2020, and where this is not possible, parents or guardians can send the form to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information at 2-4 National Heroes Circle, Building 1, Kingston 4.
Each form will be processed electronically and a reference number sent via SMS and email to the phone number and or email address provided by the parent or guardian upon submission of the application. This can be used for tracking purposes.
Once the information is verified, an eVoucher will be submitted to the email address provided by the parent or guardian upon approval of the incentive. This eVoucher will serve as proof of eligibility for the incentive programme.
Mrs. Williams said that parents or guardians must present a valid identification (ID) when claiming this incentive. The eVoucher will be valid for six months.
Queries in relation to this programme can be made by calling 888-696-3669 weekdays between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mrs. Williams said: “This incentivised programme will support the goals of the Government of Jamaica Vision 2030 outcomes to develop world-class education and training, a technology-enabled society and an internationally competitive information and communications technology (ICT) industry structure.”