Sat | Jan 23, 2021

Over 6,700 devices, $97M contributed to gov’t laptop/tablet initiative

Published:Wednesday | January 13, 2021 | 3:16 PM
​Director, Donor and Partnership Management for the National Education Trust, Latoya Harris. She has indicated that public support for the ‘One Laptop or Tablet per Child’ initiative has been positive, with various partners and individuals making donations to schools and students - Contributed photo.

Approximately 6,793 devices plus cash contributions of approximately $97 million have been donated under the ‘One Laptop or Tablet per Child’ initiative.

Director of Donor and Partnership Management at the National Education Trust (NET), Latoya Harris, made the disclosure during a recent interview with JIS News.

She noted that the cash contributions include $76 million and US$148,000.

The ‘One Laptop or Tablet per Child’ initiative, launched in October 2020, was developed to provide devices for needy students who are not on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) in order to enable them to  effectively participate in electronic learning.

The devices are being procured through the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information in partnership with NET. 

The objective of the initiative is to provide 70,000 tablets and 30,000 laptops at an estimated cost of $4.5 billion.

Harris said that public support for the initiative has been positive, with various partners and individuals making donations to schools and students.

She is appealing for greater contribution in order to achieve the target of 100,000 technology devices by March.

“We have set a six-month target… and we are working within the six months, but the sooner the better because the need is now,” she noted.

Harris noted that students at the primary and secondary levels are being targeted in the initial phase of the undertaking.  

She noted that consideration is being given to providing tablets for selected infant schools at a later date.

The Government of Jamaica is also providing an estimated 148,000 students on the Programme of Advancement through Heath and Education (PATH) with devices.

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