With many Jamaican students still struggling to access online classes, the partners of PwC Jamaica, a local financial company, are helping students of one school in Kingston with computer devices.
The company gifted 40 tablets to Holy Trinity High School during a presentation ceremony held at the institution on Monday, 7 December 2020.
The donation comes as a direct response to the school’s appeal for support, having recently disclosed that less than 50 percent of their students were logging on for classes since the beginning of the academic term, due to a lack of digital resources.
Gail Moore, assurance partner at PwC Jamaica said: “At PwC our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems and we believe that one way to achieve this is by contributing to the environment and communities in which we live and work. Having recognised Holy Trinity High’s urgent needs for devices, we had to respond. Amid all that is happening our children, who are the most vulnerable, rely on us for care, protection and support. Therefore, my fellow partners and I made a personal commitment to assist Holy Trinity. The result of that is the donation made today.”
Ms Moore also expressed that this donation was the beginning of PwC Jamaica’s partnership with the Holy Trinity High School. A comment that was well-received and punctuated by chairman of the school board and retired partner of PwC Jamaica, Gladstone Lewars.
“It’s a wonderful gesture and it could not have happened to a better school. As we all know, it [Holy Trinity] is not a traditional high school. Many of the parents are not wealthy and therefore the opportunity to buy tablets for kids does not exist easily. And so, we are very very happy that PricewaterhouseCoopers has seen it fit to make this presentation.”
According to Father Carl F Clarke, Principal of Holy Trinity High School, the donation from PwC Jamaica will have a great impact on both the school and the students.
“Words cannot express the gratitude that we feel. Holy Trinity has approximately 1149 students. At the moment we are only engaging about 35 percent online and many of whom are not able to come online because they do not have the gadgets. This will go a long way in assisting others in joining us online.”
Father Clarke estimates that the school needs at least 200 more tablets for the main school population as they await assistance for the over 460 students on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) to receive tablets.
Aside from not having access to tablets, Father Clarke expressed that the greatest challenge they face in getting students who participate in online classes is overcoming the distractions associated with being at home.
“Many of them [the students] are challenged with attention. Many of them are from inner-city communities and the environment is not conducive to studies. And for some, their parents are also not there, and that sometimes causes problems,” noted Father Clarke.
For the next academic term Father Clarke is hoping that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information will grant them the opportunity to meet the students face-to-face. “The kids we have at Holy Trinity High School are kids who need to be engaged face-to-face. The online modality is not going to be effective with them.”
The Holy Trinity High School is a non-traditional high school that also offers 11 technical-vocational programs in the areas of barbering, cosmetology, electrical, auto-mechanic, welding and fabrication, building technology, fashion clothing and design, food and nutrition, home economic management, visual and performing arts, and agricultural science.