JIS News

More than four hundred tablets valued at US$40,000 were recently issued to students in Hanover and Westmoreland to facilitate ease of access to online learning, amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The tablets were distributed under the Cornerstone Connex Programme, which is being spearheaded by the nonprofit Cornerstone Jamaica, in partnership with Gupta Family Foundation.

During a handover ceremony at Travellers Beach Resort in Negril on September 25, Executive Vice President of Cornerstone Jamaica, April Phinney, told JIS News that it was imperative that students be given every opportunity to attend classes online.

“We realise that a lot of students are isolated during this time in the pandemic and school is their lifeline. So, we want to do anything we can to help them connect with their schools. That is how Cornerstone Connex came about and that’s why we are today passing out tablets to students,” Ms. Phinney noted.

She said that 1,000 tablets valued at US$100,000 have been donated to students in Jamaica under the initiative in the past year and a half. Additionally, she said the programme has been assisting with students’ WiFi and mobile data plans to give them online access.

“We realised that children weren’t able to attend school in person and we said what can we do to help. How do we support students, teachers, parents and principals. We then decided to begin raising money for tablets, and so we have donated approximately 1,000 tablets up to today,” Ms. Phinney explained.

Student of Little Bay All-Age and Infant School, Ackecia Gayle, said she is grateful to receive a tablet for her online classes.

She indicated that the device will greatly assist, as now she can “log on to the classroom every day, do my activities and receive help”.

A teacher from Moreland Hill Primary and Infant School, Kimby Latham-Baker, said there are many children in need of tablets, and both Cornerstone Jamaica and Gupta Family Foundation are helping to fill that gap.

“We will now see more of these children engaging in online classes, and this helps the teachers to engage more with them and get them to learn more in the virtual space,” Mrs. Latham-Baker pointed out.

 

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