The Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology today (December 1) handed over 5,000 bottles of hand sanitiser to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information for distribution to schools across the island.
The supplies, valued at $1.3 million, were handed over by the Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Hon. Daryl Vaz, to Education, Youth and Information Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, during a handover ceremony at the Education Ministry’s office in Kingston.
Mr. Vaz, before handing over the vital commodity, credited Mrs. Williams for starting the initiative during her tenure at the Science Ministry where she previously served as Minister, noting that that it, therefore, quite fitting that she is receiving the donation.
“I am extremely happy to be here at this handing over. I think that with schools more and more going back to classes, this will become even more relevant and handy, especially in the January term, and I hope it will be used to the benefit of the kids to protect them from the COVID pandemic,” he said.
The Minister expressed hope that the donation will be increased over time and that other ministries will join in the efforts to help keep the children safe during the pandemic.
He further noted that both Ministries have been working together on a number of initiatives and pledged to continue, as the collaboration is key, especially during this pandemic.
“We are going to continue working together to ensure that we get the connectivity that is required and get the tablets out to the students, so that we can make sure that during the pandemic no one is left behind,” Mr. Vaz said.
Minister Williams, for her part, expressed pleasure and appreciation at the donation, noting that more schools will be resuming classes next year and the Ministry has been getting a lot of requests from the schools for more hand sanitisers.
She, however, urged parents and guardians to teach their children how to keep themselves safe during this pandemic, especially since many of them will be travelling to school in public transport.
“We need to teach them that they need to sanitise frequently, because… we touch a lot of different surfaces without the awareness that we are touching, so if we can get into the habit of sanitising our hands, whether or not we think we’ve touched anything, then it will be a good habit for our children to have,” Mrs. Williams said.
“I am delighted and look forward to going into our schools and to be able to hand this over to our schools, to the students as they come in on January morning across many schools in Jamaica,” she added.