Friday 18 September, 2020

UWI Open Campus donates tablets to secondary schools in Barbados

The Principal of the Ellerslie Secondary School, Major Errol Brathwaite receiving tablets for his students.

The Principal of the Ellerslie Secondary School, Major Errol Brathwaite receiving tablets for his students.

After seven missed weeks of Google classes, the University of the West Indies, Open Campus is helping more secondary school students in Barbados access online teaching and learning.

Today (June 24), several tablets were distributed to the principals of schools who participated in the “Preparing Today for Tomorrow’s Challenge” at the UWI Open Campus.

As some students continue to go without devices or struggle for device time as they share devices, the Open Campus' donation will help to connect more students with their classmates and teachers on a daily basis.

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In 2015, the campus created the Preparing Today for Tomorrow’s Challenge as an outreach programme and it is now used in seven secondary schools across the island. Its focus is to prepare students for life after graduating from school.  These schools include The St Michael School, St George Secondary, The Coleridge and Parry School and The Ellerslie School.

Senator Dr Romel Springer continuously thanked the campus for their generous donation, especially now that students are feeling the impact of COVID-19. He stated that one of the things that can be taken away from this COVID experience is the need to integrate technology in the schools. This technology is not only limited to devices but also includes internet access.

“I’m thankful that persons or entities such as the Open Campus see it fit to donate in order to help us to, as I put it, bridge that gap, that digital divide that exists in Barbados”.

He also stated that education resilience on the island must increase. In the event that there is another pandemic faced in Barbados or with the hurricane season which occurs every year, the island must be prepared to immerse themselves in the online classroom world.

Senator Dr Springer continued by saying that these devices will allow many students to be a part of the online classroom. “…I’ve had the opportunity to engage with a number of young persons in this country. I know that it is difficult when a child is at home and there is no device in the house or there are four children in the house having to share one device…”.

He encouraged the campus to continue their great work.

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