Jamaica’s education sector has been gifted with more than 1,400 computer devices through the efforts of Jamaica’s Consul General to New York, Alsion Roach Wilson.
Among the items handed over by the Consul General at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information on Wednesday (July 21) were 1,337 tablets, and 115 laptops.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, said the continuing efforts of Mrs. Roach Wilson, have resulted in the “flow of devices into Jamaica and into the hands of our students, through the National Education Trust (NET)”.
She added that a “huge gap” still exists with schoolchildren not having the devices and efforts will continue to equip them, while lauding the “diligence of our Consul General”.
The computers are part of the ‘One Laptop or Tablet Per Child Initiative’, instituted by the Government to promote inclusiveness in the education sector and to provide disadvantaged students with the requisite tools to actively participate in the online learning environment.
Since November 2020, the Consul General and a broad network of corporate friends and the Jamaican Diaspora in the United States (US), have mobilised approximately $82 million in donations.
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, said “friendship and compassion” have been demonstrated through the effort.
“These devices will make a meaningful difference to the recipients and ensure that our young people have the tools to adjust as we have all had to do, in light of the pandemic,” she said, adding that although many of the donors are not Jamaicans, “they are great friends and supporters of Jamaica”.
For her part, the Consul General expressed gratitude to the Jamaican Diaspora and the friends of Jamaica “who have gone above and beyond to donate the resources to acquire these much-needed devices”.
Among the sponsors are the Steve Harvey Foundation, the Excelsior Past Students Association, the New York-based Monroe College, the Jamaican Organization of New Jersey, Pfizer, Caribbean Food Delights, Feurtado Shipping, Jet Blue Airways, and Bluefields Villas.
“This initiative has captured the essence of what it truly means to build back stronger and has shown the tremendous love and support that exists for our nation and our people,” Mrs. Roach Wilson said.
“The lives of many Jamaican students have been and will continue to be improved by our collective efforts,” she added.
Other groups that have partnered with NET to acquire devices for students under the ‘One Laptop or Tablet Per Child Initiative’ are the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), the National Commercial Bank (NCB) Foundation, Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE) and Junior Achievement Jamaica.