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Speech

Madam Speaker,

The Government of Jamaica (GoJ) has provided $720 million as an incentive for Non-PATH students to acquire devices. The programme, known as the Own Your Own Device (OYOD) Incentive Programme is aimed at benefiting 36,000 non-PATH students with a $20,000 voucher towards the purchase of a tablet or laptop.

The Ministry of Education, Youth & Information would like to thank all Parents/Guardians who applied for the Own Your Own Device Incentive thus far. As of Monday, May 17, we have received 34,058 applications on the electronic system. This amount represents 95% of the target and shows the need throughout our country to provide devices for our students. We have issued approximately 24,000 vouchers to date and as of Monday, May 17, approximately 13,337 Parents/Guardians have redeemed their Vouchers at the various Approved Vendors valued at $226,740,000 representing approximately 32% of the allocated funding.

 The Ministry made the decision to increase the annual income threshold for the OYOD Incentive Programme from $500,000 to $1,500,000 which has broadened the chances of a Parent/Guardian being deemed eligible for the incentive.

In terms of application states, based on the final verification by way of the scoring rubric, Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ) income verification and National Student Registration System (NSRS) verification, 24,437 applicants have been approved and issued vouchers; 5,287 applications did not meet the criteria; 1,614 applicants have met the criteria and are to be issued eVouchers after a review is done; 1,836 applications are under review due to TAJ Income Discrepancies and 34 applicants have been placed for consideration based on the scoring rubric.

The data has shown that in terms of gender distribution, 16,820 males have applied for the incentive, while 17, 238 females applied.

The parish distribution seen on the slide, shows that the majority of the applications were made in St. Catherine, St. Ann, Kingston and St. Andrew. The data has also been aggregated to show the number of students who have been deemed eligible for the programme by school. The slide being shown now, indicates that the top schools in which students have benefited are, Mandeville Primary and Junior High, Marlie Mount Primary and Infant, Ocho Rios Primary, Southborough Primary, St. Johns Primary, Mona Heights Primary, Ocho Rios High, George Headley Primary, St. Jude’s Primary and Barracks Road Primary.

In terms of Voucher Redemption, as stated previously, we have issued approximately 24,000 vouchers to date and as of Monday, May 17, approximately 13,337 Parents/Guardians have redeemed their Vouchers at the various Approved Vendors.

The demand for devices is very evident and the data shows that 13,173 applicants have used the incentive to purchase a tablet, while 164 applicants used the funds towards the purchase of a laptop. We have also broken the data down by Grade Level and the data indicates that the majority of Voucher Redemptions are being done for students in Grade Levels 4, 3, 5, 6, 2, 7, 8 and 1.

For ease of access, I would like to take this opportunity to remind the public of the eleven (11) approved vendors for the OYOD Programme.

The approved vendors are:

  • ROYALE COMPUTERS & ACCESSORIES
  • FULL SERVICE CONSULTANTS LIMITED
  • SMART MOBILE SOLUTIONS (JA) LIMITED
  • SOLUTION INTEGRATORS CORPORATE LTD.
  • RESOLVEIT
  • TRED LABORATORIES LIMITED
  • PRODUCTIVE BUSINESS SOLUTIONS LIMITED
  • COURTS JAMAICA LIMITED
  • JEWELLERY COLLECTION
  • LAN INTEGRATORS LIMITED
  • FLOW JAMAICA

These vendors have partnered with sub-vendors allowing for over 100 outlets islandwide for the redemption of vouchers. These locations are listed on the website of e-Learning Jamaica at www.elearningja.gov.jm.

The following are the steps for Redeeming a Voucher:

  • Parent/Guardian redeeming a voucher must present their valid Government of Jamaica (GoJ) Picture ID, TRN and the Voucher Number whether in printed or electronic format.
  • If the redemption of a Voucher is being done by a bearer, that individual must present:
    • A valid GoJ picture ID (The Bearer)
    • A certified (by a Justice of the Peace) copy of the applicant’s valid GoJ Picture ID, TRN and Letter of Authorization with the applicant’s signature matching that on the picture ID.

We are grateful for the continued support with the Own Your Own Device Incentive Programme, especially from our hard-working Members of Parliament.

To assist with the queries/concerns that have been raised by several Members of Parliament, the Ministry has shared an application status report with each MP.

This report is separated by Parish and provides the application status for applicants within the Parish in which their constituency is located.

Kindly note that if the report indicates that an eVoucher has been sent to an applicant and this applicant indicates that they have not received the eVoucher via email/SMS, you may send the Parent’s and Student’s name associated with that application to oyod.support@moey.gov.jm and we will resend the eVoucher to the applicant once verification is done.

Madam Speaker, after careful consideration, we have taken the decision to pause and assess the OYOD programme to better serve all our stakeholders. Therefore, we will temporarily be closing the application site. Once this assessment is completed, we will re-open the application. Please note that while the application process is closed, the Voucher redemption process will still remain open, to allow all successful recipients of an eVoucher to continue the redemption process.

During this time of assessment, we will work assiduously to address the issues that have been identified and are brought to our attention.

Overall, the Ministry continues to work relentlessly to have a device in the hand of every Jamaican student and we will not stop until this mission is completed.

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