The Quality Education Circle (QEC) 36, in Region Four of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, has joined the cause to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on vulnerable persons in St. James.
The QEC last week donated care packages and phone credit to 35 students, and their families, from 17 infant schools, primary schools, and secondary institutions across several communities, including Glendevon, Salt Spring, Flanker, Albion and Green Pond.
The packages contained items such as chicken, rice, sugar, flour, cornmeal, corned beef and toiletries.
QEC 36 Convener and Education Officer, Shamara Brissett-Gordon, in an interview with JIS News, said the COVID-19 pandemic has placed immense challenges on parents and students, which prompted the QEC to undertake the initiative.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of children have been in need, and that affects teaching and learning because they cannot function if they are hungry. Another issue that has been affecting them is that parents don’t have credit to get access to the Internet, so some of them are not able to go online every time to access learning materials,” Mrs. Brissett-Gordon said.
She noted that the initiative received the support of Principals and Education Officers from the QEC, representatives from Region four, as well as members of the business community.
“As Principals and Education officers in Region Four, we pooled our resources and put the packages together for distribution. Students were chosen after we liaised with the Principals and Guidance Counsellors and they identified the needy students. We travelled to the different communities in a convoy,” she informed.
For her part, Chairman of QEC 36 and Principal of Albion Primary and Infant school, Dr. Lorane Moodie-Reid, said the QEC is also providing psychological support to needy students, while catering to their physical well-being.
“We realised that even though school is out, our students still need more in terms of food. We also offered moral support because I know that it makes a difference when students are able to identify with [their] Principal by just hearing ‘I love you, we care for you and here, we have a little package for you’. It is just a good feeling to know that we can reach out to our students in different ways, ensuring that we are working on all areas of development,” Dr. Moodie-Reid added.
A QEC is a programme that consists of a group of administrators and education officers within a particular area, collaborating to create a learning community geared towards improving student performance and overall educational outcomes.