Eight students of the St. Ann’s Bay Primary School in St. Ann, are beneficiaries of computer tablets, donated by the Jamaica Association of Public Health Inspectors (JAPHI).
The handover took place on Tuesday (November 2) at the institution as a goodwill project by JAPHI, in observance of Public Health Inspectors Week, celebrated from October 24 to 30.
In her address, Immediate Past President of JAPHI, Karen Brown, said the donation of the tablets is to help close the digital divide affecting Jamaican students who have been forced to engage in online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We believe that it is also an opportunity for us to help you learn better, because of the challenges with the digital divide,” she said.
Ms. Brown underscored that the devices are necessary for the advancement of students within the virtual leaning space.
“The pandemic has created a lot of challenges, which we all face as parents, as teachers and, of course, students… where we saw the need for more devices to assist you in your learning, and so the Jamaica Association of Public Health Inspectors has taken very great pleasure in providing some tablets to assist you to better navigate this pandemic and so that you will continue to learn your lessons within the distance space,” Ms. Brown said.
She added that the devices were selected “based on specifications that we know are required to facilitate student learning” even after the pandemic, as technology will remain a permanent part of the education system.
For his part, Principal of the institution, Trevor Cole, expressed gratitude to JAPHI for the donation, noting that it will better support online learning for students who were facing challenges.
He encouraged the students to treat the tablets with care and use them to accelerate their learning in order to maintain good grades.
“Your responsibility is to ensure that you are taking good care of them and that you are in class,” he said.
Mr. Cole noted that the recipients will be monitored to ensure that the devices are being used for their intended purpose.
“I will be placing them on a special list called the principal’s watch list…where we are going to monitor your progress upon receipt of your device. So, we are going to see whether or not you are attending classes in the morning, we are going to see if you are completing your work, and we are going to see the quality grades that you will be getting over the period of time,” the Principal said.
Meanwhile, parents have welcomed the provision of tablets to their children.
In an interview with JIS News, Nordia Chamberlain, thanked JAPHI for catering to the educational needs of her son.
“I am feeling very good, very excited because I am really concerned with his learning and I am thankful to the public health team for the donation of the tablet,” she said.
Another parent, Iona Brown, said she is grateful for the tablet, as her children who are twins, were forced to share one device, which posed a challenge.
“I am so grateful, as they are a set of twins and they have to be using one device and the teacher always, said I need another device so that they can do their work separately, because even though they are twins, they function differently,” she said.