The Rotary Club of Barbados in partnership with First Caribbean International Bank has donated 20 tablets to the Ministry of Education.
The devices were handed over this morning to the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, at Constitution Road, St Michael.
Fiona Hinds, from the Rotary Club said the club recognizes the need to assist the education sector to help more children secure a chance in the digital world, especially since there are limitations on physical attendance in the classroom environment because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thanking all those who were involved in making the donation possible, Hinds noted that every donation, despite the size, helps children compete at the global level in the digital education atmosphere through online schooling.
“So, thank you for accepting our kind donation, thank you for giving our kind donation, and may we all continue in our own special way to serve above self,” Hinds said.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education Senator Dr Rommel Springer reminded that the local education sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. He stressed that it is the Ministry’s goal to see that educating the nation’s children is not curtailed, while still being mindful to maintain procedures to safeguard distant learning through the use of technologies.
Dr Springer noted that several children, because of various circumstances, do not have access to technological devices and therefore the donation of the tablets is timely and must be acknowledged.
“I sincerely thank the Rotary Club of Barbados and First Caribbean International Bank Barbados Ltd for choosing to give back and for being willing to partner with this Ministry to safeguard equitable scholastic security for the children of this nation, by ensuring that all of them can have access to the necessary distant learning modalities and to ensure that no child is left behind,” Dr Springer said.
First Caribbean representative Raymond Ward said after acknowledging that no child should be left behind, the Rotary Club contacted the bank with the request for sponsorship for the tablets, which, he said, was approved because of its significance.
Ward said in March when the pandemic started affecting the region, First Caribbean donated US$250, 000 to the various countries to assist with purchasing COVID-19 testing kits. He said BDS$50, 000 was donated to the Adopt a Family programme where vulnerable families were given BDS$600 per month to assist with food and expenses.
“In addition, the bank donated BDS$20 000 to the Barbados Alliance to End Homelessness as part of an ongoing commitment as we sought to assist the disadvantaged at this very trying time. Additionally, we joined with some other financial institutions to give waivers and moratorium to a lot of our clients to help ease the pressure that some of them were enduring during this time.
“Just last week, we launched a new programme entitled The First Caribbean and Sun Frontline Heroes where we are seeking to reward those selected by the public and a committee that I have been given the privilege to chair, for their hard work on the frontline in Barbados during this global crisis. The programme is a regional one and will be seeking out and rewarding similar heroes in the other 15 territories where we operate,” Ward said.