The project launched to allow kind-hearted Barbadians and businesses to donate laptops and other devices to connect students with the online classroom is hoping to collect at least 10 000 devices.
With students being forced to attend online classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in the closure of schools, the Ministry of Education and Technological Vocational Training (METVT) is appealing to donors to collaborate with the ministry and Haigh Communications Inc, the company retained to assist with public relations and the soliciting of the devices for the Googe G Suite Tech Drive Project.
Chief Executive Officer of Haigh Communications Inc Joy-Ann Haigh said the project was not only important for students not to be left behind, but also prepares for any future school closures.
Haigh called on potential donors those who have already donated devices, to see the project as a long-term investment in children and in remote emergency teaching.
“We have a lot of people responding and we are hoping that we can finalize things a little faster. We are appreciative of them coming forward, but we also understand that they have to go back to boards and make decisions and we are also mindful that in the COVID-19 environment that it is a little bit tight for most people.
“I am hoping that they do recognize the importance of investing in education for children. Even though we do need to eat, we also have to make sure that our children don’t spend too much time not doing anything and losing valuable teaching time. So we understand the demands that they are getting for hampers and so on, but we have to now look at the devices and we definitely need a total of 10 000,” Haigh said.
Haigh stressed that the collaboration is needed to avoid duplication of efforts when supplying devices to children at both primary and secondary school.
She also noted that all devices are being tagged and security measures put in place in case they are stolen or misplaced.
On April 29 Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw announced the start of the project in an urgent response to the impact of COVID-19 on Education.
Bradshaw said the ministry received numerous calls from parents seeking assistance as well as from donors extending a helping hand.
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