One hundred and seventy students across Montego Bay / St. James have received tablet computers from the St. James Municipal Corporation, which represents the local authority’s contribution to the Government’s Tablets in Schools Programme.
The tablets, valued at more than $4 million, were presented to the beneficiaries on December 16 at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre, Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay.
Ten students from each of the Municipal Corporation’s 17 divisions received devices, which will help to accelerate and enrich the e-learning process.
In an interview with JIS News, Chairman of the Finance Committee at the Corporation and Councillor for the Maroon Town Division, Everes Coke, said the initiative aims to assist the most vulnerable students to access lessons online during the pandemic.
He noted that Councillors, Principals, Community Development Committees and other community groups assisted with the selection of the students, whose parents are facing financial challenges.
“We are indeed happy that we could initiate this special gesture to assist needy students. We realised the need because, from time to time, persons will come to us as Councillors and ask us to assist them in getting instruments for a needy child. As a result, we decided that we would go this route to assist these students,” he said.
Student at the Montego Bay Community College and resident of the Spring Garden Division, Marlon Rowe, told JIS News that he is very grateful for the tablet, noting that it will enhance the virtual learning experience for each student.
“First, I want to say thanks to members of the St. James Municipal Corporation and the Councillors who came together to formulate this initiative. I think this will propel each student to strive for excellence in this pandemic. This pandemic has shaken a lot of parents’ pockets who are now facing financial constraints, so this venture will certainly benefit each student, education wise,” he said.
He noted that the device will improve his educational outcome, as he was facing challenges with storing information received from his lecturers.
For her part, Marlene Brown of Mount Salem, whose grandchildren benefited from the initiative, said the devices will be of great help to them.
“I want to thank my Councillor and others who have given my grandsons a tablet for a better education, so I have to give everybody a big thank you. It will help them as best as it can, because we are in a modern time,” she said.