Children in State care will benefit from a donation of 500 laptops to assist with remote schooling as part of the blended approach to teaching and learning.
The laptops were donated by the Transformation Implementation Unit (TIU) to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) at their headquarters in Kingston on Wednesday (January 19).
This donation falls under the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Expansion project, which is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank. The laptops were procured at a cost of US$324,000.
In expressing gratitude for the donation, the Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams, said the donation will also benefit the collating of data and reports related to the welfare of children across the island.
“[The CPFSA] has specific regulatory responsibility for all residential childcare facilities and the more than 4,000 children in the child-protection system. Within that context, it is important that staff have access to equipment to carry out their functions effectively and efficiently and that children are able to participate in online learning given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
Adding to the Minister’s point, CPFSA Chief Executive Officer, Rosalee Gage-Grey, said the donation is significant because “the digital age has become our reality”.
“It is, therefore, imperative that as we prepare our youth for adulthood and independent living, we also equip them with the tools to both survive and excel in this new age,” she further pointed out.
Meanwhile, Human Resource Transformation Lead at TIU Trudy-Ann James-Linton, said the Unit intends to continue supporting the key areas of the CPFSA.
“We hope to achieve our goal of expanding the ICT network and modernising information and communications technology systems across the CPFSA’s network of offices and their primary partners, to provide real-time access to current and accurate information to help guide their decision-making,” she said.
To date, 173 desktop computers, 56 laptops and 35 tablets for use within the CPFSA’s offices and in the field have been delivered under the ICT Expansion Project.
This also includes 11 multifunctional printers for use in the CPFSA’s offices and 92 tablets issued to secondary-level students who performed well in their Primary Exit Profiles and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations.
The TIU is hosted under the Ministry of Finance and is responsible for improving efficiencies in the public sector.
In the execution of its mandate, the unit manages the implementation of the multi-focal public-sector-transformation programme on behalf of the Government of Jamaica.