Feature
Daureen Thompson with her grandson, Kedron Gayle, at the Port Antonio Primary School in Portland on October 22, where devices were handed over to students under the Tablets in Schools programme.
Photo: Adrian Walker

Daureen Thompson is overjoyed that her grandson, Kedron Gayle, has received a device under the Government’s Tablets in Schools programme.

She tells JIS News that since the start of classes on October 5, the grade-six student of Port Antonio Primary, who is preparing to take the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) next year, has been using an inexpensive smartphone to access lessons online.

She says that the small screen size makes it hard to see all the text at the same time, creating a frustrating experience for the youngster. The small keys also make typing difficult.

“Sometimes, he cannot see the schoolwork on the phone screen because it’s small. I’m so grateful that he has received a tablet. I’m giving thanks,” she says.

Kedron tells JIS News that he is happy about the tablet’s large screen. “I am thankful,” the shy youngster says.

Kedron was among more than 700 pupils across Portland who received tablets during two separate ceremonies held in the parish on October 22.

A total of 501 devices were handed over to students from six institutions during a function at Port Antonio Primary, while 213 students from four schools received tablets at Buff Bay Primary.

Each student received a Logic T10B 10” screen tablet with 16 GB internal storage and a trifold case with a Bluetooth keyboard or a Samsung TAB A 32GB tablet with a trifold case.

The Government, through eLearning Jamaica Limited (e-LJam) began the distribution of 40,000 devices to primary-school students under the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) on October 2.

The devices are targeted at pupils in grades four to six.

Like Ms. Thompson, Ann-Marie McLeod is singing praises on behalf of her daughter, Martina McLeod, a grade-five student at Port Antonio Primary.

Martina McLeod (left) and her mother, Ann-Marie McLeod at Port Antonio Primary School on October 22, where devices were handed over to students under the Tablets in Schools programme.

 

“I’m very grateful given that she received a tablet. For online classes, she has been using my sister’s phone, but when she has to go to work it creates a challenge,” she notes.

Over at Buff Bay Primary, Tiona Watson, who has also been using a phone for her classes, tells JIS News that she is thankful to have received a tablet.

The former Buff Bay Primary student, who now attends Titchfield High, was selected based on need and also for her outstanding performance in PEP this year, where she was the top girl for her school.

“The phone is not efficient. The battery runs down very quickly. Also the phone memory is very low and cannot load every video that is sent to me from school,” she points out.

Tiona’s mother, Samantha Thomas, is even more excited than her daughter about the tablet. She says that for weeks, she has witnessed Tiona’s frustration with the use of the phone.

Titchfield High School student and top-performing girl in the 2020 Primary Exit Profile (PEP) for Buff Bay Primary School, Tiona Watson (centre), shares a moment with her parents, Samantha Thomas (left) and David Watson, after receiving a device under the Tablets in Schools Programme, during a ceremony at Buff Bay Primary on October 22.

 

“I feel very good that she got the tablet. The phone’s print is very fine and sometimes she has to strain her eyes,” Ms. Thomas says.

Top-performing Boy at Buff Bay Primary, Trae-Ajay Bent, who is now a student of Calabar High School, also received a tablet.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Daryl Vaz (left), hands over a trophy to Calabar High School student and top-performing boy for Buff Bay Primary School in the 2020 Primary Exit Profile (PEP), Trae-Ajay Bent. Occasion was a ceremony for the handover of devices under the Tablets in Schools programme at Buff Bay Primary on October 22.

 

“It is an honour. I feel a lot of excitement and other emotions I can’t really explain,” Trae-Ajay tells JIS News.

The Government is expected to complete the distribution of 40,000 devices under the Tablets in Schools programme during the week of November 4.

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