The VM Foundation, through Geo Tech Vision’s EduTechAid Programme, moved last month to help close the digital divide in this time when teaching has largely shifted online, putting students without computers or tablets at a serious disadvantage.
The foundation donated US$4,200 (J$615,090) towards the purchase of tablets for students who are living with a disability, reside in an inner-city community, or are living in a children’s home.
Guided by requests made to the EduTechAid Programme, tablets were distributed to children in need at the Adonijah Group of Schools, Best Care Special Education, Dunrobin Christian Academy, St Jude’s Primary, St Patrick’s Primary, St Francis Primary, Windward Road Primary and Duhaney Park Primary schools.
Since the closure of schools in March, as part of measures to help contain the spread of COVID-19, there have been reports about challenges being faced by some students, particularly related to access to digital tools needed to participate in online classes.
“We have to remember and care for the most vulnerable among us. We can’t allow them to be left out or left behind,” said Naketa West, manager of the VM Foundation. “This programme is helping to level the playing field, so that everyone can continue to have equal access to education.”
The VM Foundation has also donated $1 million to the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and Council of Voluntary Social Services COVID-19 Jamaica Response Fund.