The National Education Trust (NET) has received a cheque for $494,000 from the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE) for the ‘One Laptop or One Tablet per Child’ initiative.
The One Laptop or Tablet Per Child initiative aims to promote inclusivity in the education sector by providing needy students with the requisite tools to function in the online teaching and learning environment, by ensuring equity in access to information and communications technology (ICT)-based learning.
Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams, accepted the donation during a ceremony at the Ministry, National Heroes Circle in Kingston, today (December 3).
The Minister thanked the JSSE for the donation, which she said will assist in the Ministry’s efforts to ensure that all children in Jamaica, regardless of their socio- economic background, have access to technology to facilitate online learning.
“We want to ensure that the use of technology is embedded in the teaching and learning experience. This is not just about the COVID period we are now in. Yes, the pandemic caused the acceleration of that to happen, but it is accelerating the pace at which we get technology into the hands of our students,” the Minister said.
Mrs. Williams urged other entities to join the effort in equipping children with these devices.
“We are going to keep going until we reach that goal of having a laptop or tablet in the hands of our students all across Jamaica. It is the only way we are going to close the digital divide,” she said.
Meanwhile, Group Business Development Manager, JSSE, André Gooden, said the organisation has committed to raising $100 million for the project through its ‘Connect A Child JA’ platform.
“We are going to put all our energy into supporting this initiative. We are thankful for the opportunity to serve the people of Jamaica in this way,” he said.
For her part, Director of Education Projects, NET, Shirley Moncrieffe, said the outpouring of support for the initiative has been overwhelming.
“We anticipate that the donations will come in so we can provide devices for the children who need them. I am thankful [to] the JSSE, and we continue to partner with them and other donors so we can provide this support for the children, which is our main mandate,” she said.
Persons interested in making monetary donations may do so through the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange at https://jsse.jamstockex.com and click ‘Connect a Child JA’.
For more information on the project, persons may call the NET at 876-967-9007 or 967-7962.