Wednesday 2 December, 2020

Guardian pledges $5m towards online learning devices for students

Assistant Vice President of Employee Benefits and Sales, Guardian Life Limited, Nadine Pottinger; Managing Director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange Marlene Street Forrest; Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Fayval Williams and Vice President of Employee Benefits Sales and Health Operations at Guardian Life Limited, Constance Hoo join forces to provide resources for the ‘A Device For Every Child: Bridging the Digital Divide’ initiative.

Assistant Vice President of Employee Benefits and Sales, Guardian Life Limited, Nadine Pottinger; Managing Director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange Marlene Street Forrest; Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Fayval Williams and Vice President of Employee Benefits Sales and Health Operations at Guardian Life Limited, Constance Hoo join forces to provide resources for the ‘A Device For Every Child: Bridging the Digital Divide’ initiative.

As part of the initiative to support schools in the delivery of quality education, Guardian Life Limited and the Guardian Group Foundation pledged $5 million towards the purchase of laptops and tablets for students in need.

The entities recently joined forces with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and other private sector firms to provide primary and secondary students with devices to ensure that no child is left behind.  
 
The ‘A Device For Every Child:  Bridging the Digital Divide’ project is designed to promote inclusivity in the education sector by providing students with the requisite tools to function in the online teaching and learning environment. This includes ensuring equality in access to Information Communication Technology (ICT)-based learning.  
 
“At Guardian, we uphold the principles of fairness and inclusivity, and it is our fervent belief that our children, some of whom are among the most vulnerable in our society, must not be negatively impacted by such phenomena as this pandemic, which inadvertently impacts all of us,” said Constance Hoo, Vice President, Employee Benefits Sales and Health Operations at Guardian Life Limited. 
 
According to Fayval Williams, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, the government is currently providing an estimated 148,000 students on the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) with devices. 

However, an additional estimated 100,000 students still require laptops or tablets to effectively participate in online learning for the new academic year.  
 
“These students are not on PATH but are considered needy and vulnerable so we risk leaving them behind academically. So, ‘A Device For Every Child- Bridging the Digital Divide’ seeks to engage stakeholders in partnerships to assist with the provision of appropriate devices,” said Minister Williams.  
 
Hoo noted: “We are committed to supporting our country in any effort that seeks to promote literacy and education so we can be proud citizens of this country.” 
 
 

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