Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams, says that almost 150,000 technology devices will be in the hands of needy students islandwide, through various programmes and initiatives, by the end of the 2021/22 school year.
She was addressing a meeting for the Kiwanis Club of Eastern St. Andrew, which was held virtually on Tuesday (May 18).
The Ministry and e-Learning Jamaica Company Limited commenced the distribution of 40,000 tablets for Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) students in grades four, five and six, on October 2, 2020.
Public high schools have been provided with funding to procure laptops for students from grades 10 to 13 who are on PATH, and for other vulnerable students, as identified.
Students who are not on PATH have been benefiting from support to purchase devices in order to access online learning.
In addition, members of the private sector and other individuals, both locally and overseas, have been donating devices to add to the Government’s efforts.
“We’ve focused on the PATH students, which are the most vulnerable students. We also looked at needy families that are not on PATH [by] … offering a $20,000 voucher towards the purchase of a tablet or laptop for 36,000 families,” Minister Williams noted.
She said, further, that the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service will be providing resources to enable Members of Parliament to donate 100 tablets to students who have not been able to benefit under other programmes.
“That is going to get under way, so that it will be ready for September,” she said.