The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information on Sunday (October 4), distributed 144 tablets to two primary schools in St. Ann to support virtual learning for students on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
Brown’s Town Primary received 126 tablets while 18 devices were delivered to Alva Primary under the Tablets in Schools Programme.
They will benefit students from grades four to six.
An additional eight tablets were handed over to Brown’s Town Primary on behalf of New Fortress Energy.Portfolio Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, handed over the devices during separate ceremonies held on the grounds of each institution.
The Minister said that the tablets will assist in bridging the digital divide as Government continues on an “irreversible path” to strengthening the technological capacity and infrastructure in schools across the island.
She noted that 40,000 tablets are to be distributed to 500 primary schools, and the process is slated to be completed by the end of November.
The tablets are being distributed by e-Learning Jamaica (e-LJam), which started the process on October 2, with the delivery of 146 devices to the Holy Family Infant and Primary School in downtown Kingston.
Mrs. Williams noted that the 40,000 tablets will augment the 18,000 tablets and approximately 12,000 desktop computers already in the school system.
For his part, Chief Executive Officer for e-LJam, Keith Smith, encouraged parents, teachers and students to make good use of the devices.
He noted that e-LJam has established a service assurance help desk to provide technical support in the use of the tablets.
Acting Principal of the Brown’s Town Primary school, Linda Campbell-Miller, expressed gratitude for the 126 tablets.
“I am extremely thankful… . The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has changed the educational landscape of Jamaica and these tablets will greatly assist our needy students,” she said.
Principal of Alva Primary, Claudine Brown-Bartley, for her part, told JIS news that the tablets provided will assist the online learning process.
“I am overwhelmed with joy. When I got the call that they wanted Alva to be a recipient of the tablets from e-Learning for our PATH students, I was excited because I have been having parents calling me and saying ‘Miss I don’t have any tablets, I don’t have smart phone,” she noted.
The total value of the tablets being distributed in schools this year is US$6.2 million.