MINISTER of Education Jeff Lloyd, left, with one of the devices paid for thanks to Leno’s donation.
Photo: Donovan McIntosh
By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
LENO Corporate Services Limited has donated $60,000 to the Ministry of Education 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 - with students needing equipment to participate in online learning for the new term.
During a press conference yesterday, Leno Founder/CEO Sean Longley said the company’s partnership with the ministry is a result of the organisation’s commitment to give back to those in need.
The move comes as the organisation celebrates its tenth anniversary.
“When we were about to celebrate our tenth year, we wanted to find something that was meaningful because we knew we were not going to do a celebration anymore so we had to come up with something,” he said.
“One of the things we always wanted to do was to create a foundation that will give back through different genres like sports and the like and even before the foundation was started we actually were giving back as a foundation,” he said.
“So, this falls right in line with what we’re trying to achieve. This is something that we want to do, and we’ve pledged to be the leader as a national effort to try to put a device in every child’s hand.”
Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd said the donation will allow for officials to purchase 600 tablet devices for students so that they have access to the tools they need to continue their education in a COVID-19 environment.
He also said officials estimate that “somewhere between ten to fifteen thousand Bahamian (public school) students across the system would have a deprivation that is in desperate need of satisfaction.”
Priority recipients are those on the ministry’s meal programme, Mr Lloyd added.
“Our priority is geared toward those students who are on our lunch programme because they have been vetted by the Department of Social Services as being of a certain socio-economic profile,” the minister said yesterday.
“We have identified some 5,087 of such persons. Yes, a great many of them are in the Family Islands and of course we are sensitive to the needs of our Family Islands, including Abaco and Grand Bahama and in particular those in our southern parts of The Bahamas.
“So, that is our matrix at the moment in terms of order of priority.”
Ajani Moss, a tenth-grade student at Queen’s College, told reporters yesterday the electronic devices will allow students to complete their work at home more efficiently.
He said: “This opportunity for all students to have device inside their house would benefit a lot because not only will you be able to have a place where you could do all your work, but you’d be able to have a place where you could store it, you could have a place where you could research everything and a place where you could contact your school all in one.
“This would make working at home more efficient so that you could understand all your work just like school.”
In addition to the donation, LENO will also be covering the advertising costs for wider community outreach to encourage others to support the educational cause.