TABLETS being donated by Island Luck yesterday to help students take part in virtual learning in a ceremony attended by Island Luck CEO Sebas Bastian and Minister of Education Jeff Lloyd.
Photos: Donovan McIntosh
By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Island Luck Cares Foundation donated 500 tablets to the Ministry of Education yesterday in support of its virtual learning platform.
The donation is part of an effort to equip every child in The Bahamas with a virtual learning device.
Island Luck CEO Sebas Bastian said it was important for the organisation to do their part in ensuring every student has access to the tools they need to continue their education in a COVID-19 environment.
“I know firsthand how it is and the challenges that many families would have without having these devices,” he said during a press conference yesterday.
“I feel it as an obligation that we do our part and continue to do our part in ensuring that each and every child has a device to continue their education. This is 2020. It shouldn’t take a pandemic for us to make sure that every child has a device. That should’ve been a necessity five years ago.
“But be it as it may, this pandemic – though it may have had their fair share of challenges – it brought great awareness to what we need to be doing as a people, as a society. It’s not the government’s problem. It’s all of our problem and Island Luck and Island Luck Cares foundation will continue to do its part in closing that gap on this great need.”
Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd, who was on hand to receive the donations, thanked Mr Bastian for his generous contribution to Bahamian society.
He said: “We have thousands of students who do not have a device or do not have an internet or both and so for them, there may be an irrecoverable deprivation that they now suffer from and we hope to now remedy that and this is why we are so grateful to you for assisting us in meeting this most desperate need.”
Priority recipients for the tablet devices, according to Mr Lloyd, will be primary school students.
He said: “These are going more specifically to the younger children. If you look at the size of them, you’ll see that they are more suited for the younger children and by that, I mean pre-schoolers all the way up to grades one to three and we have approximately 10,000 of them in that category of persons.”
Asked yesterday how many students are still in need of the learning devices, the minister replied: “I would say quite a lot and I would say about 40 percent and that’s why we are working with ALIV to secure more and we’re working also with a number of stakeholders and partners such as LENO and Rotary clubs of the Bahamas to assist us in raising funds and securing donations.”
“As the Permanent Secretary would have said, there have been some $183,000 donated but we received many thousands of devices that have been donated and as soon as we get them, we will distribute them to our schools and our children.”