The husband and wife team of Aron and Christina Truss yesterday handed over 54 tablets to Class Three children of the St Alban’s Primary School, on behalf of the foundation bearing the couple’s name.
The devices, intended to be learning aids for the pupils, are part of the approximately 600 tablets the Aron and Christina Truss Foundation will distribute to primary schools across the island this year.
Students of many other schools across Barbados have in the past been the beneficiaries of tablets and laptops from the Trust, whose aim is to ensure digital literacy among Barbadian children.
According to the seven-year-old Trust, its purpose “is to promote and facilitate children’s education at the primary and secondary levels in Barbados as we believe that this will be the best means of ensuring our social, economic and political stability in the future”.
“We try to target schools in rural areas which have not fully benefited from the Government’s Edutech Programme, and where children may not have use of a computer at home. The schools were chosen following discussions with the parliamentary representatives for the areas,” the Trust adds.
The husband and wife principals behind the Trust said one of the reasons for starting the Foundation in 2009 was to cut the red tape, bureaucracy and overhead administration expenses by making the donations directly to the children, since “most charities waste between 40 per cent and 70 per cent of the money they receive from donations on administration expenses”.
Contending that governments likely waste a similar percentage of the taxes it collects as well, they added: “We suspect that there are many like us who really don’t donate or contribute in taxes what they would be prepared to [because] they felt that their donation and/or taxes would really make a difference.”
The Trusses explained that once a school is added to the project, the Trust returns at the start of each academic year to present tablets to the new Class Three students.
“To help with this long-term commitment to schools, we now try to find a sponsor for a school, so not only will donors know exactly what their donation has purchased, they will know the school and the children that have benefitted. The advantage for us is that we can then focus on new donations to add new schools and more children to our project,” they added.
St Alban’s principal Wendine Prince urged the Class Three pupils to use the tablets to enhance their learning, do research, and communicate with family and friends, but not to hurt others.
“There are many children here in Barbados and around the world who would exchange places with you, and in this regard you must see yourself as privileged,” she told the students.