Coronavirus: Digicel Foundation donates 1,000 tablets for students
(From left) Digicel Jamaica chairman Harry Smith; Acting Chief Education Officer Dr Kasan Troupe; State Minister in the Education Ministry Alando Terrelonge; and Digicel Foundation chair Jean Lowrie Chin examine one of the tablets. (Photos: Marlon Reid)
Digicel Foundation has donated 1,000 tablets to enable students in need to maintain online learning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The tablets are valued at $14 million.
Six hundred tablets will given to the Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD), an agency of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, for distribution to disabled students, while the other 400 devices will go to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information for distribution to other students in need.
What's more, Digicel Jamaica will provide 1,000 SIM cards with data for the students who receive tablets, allowing for free internet service for one year.
Digicel Foundation CEO Charmaine Daniels
Each SIM card will be linked to the serial number for the respective tablet, which will help to act as a deterrent for theft of the equipment, with JCPD documenting and keeping all the serial numbers for tracking.
The devices have been fitted with software to assist students with disabilities, and are light in weight to enable easy movement.
Digicel Foundation CEO, Charmaine Daniels said the effort is part of its Operation SAFE Mode initiative, which is focused on sanitising, advocating, feeding, and enabling Jamaicans in the fight against COVID-19.
(From left) Colette Roberts-Risden, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security; Digicel Foundation Chairman Jean Lowrie-Chin and Digicel Jamaica Chairman Harry Smith engaged in a discussion.
Digicel Jamaica’s chief commercial officer, Wenise Davis said the company joined the initiative to ensure that all students are afforded an equal opportunity to learn while COVID-19 affects the island.
“Now more than ever we must ensure that we serve the special needs community, especially special needs students. We have to ensure that students have equal access and opportunities to pursue their educational goals.
“We hope to continue working together, to create a world where no one gets left behind, during this pandemic and beyond,” Davis said.
Alando Terrelonge, State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, added: “I have always maintained that education should not be disrupted and that while there is no perfect solutions in the time of a pandemic, certainly by working together we can see solutions to the problems that have presented themselves,” Terrelonge said.