Forty-six wards of the state recently received tablets to assist with their schooling under a partnership between the Transformation Implementation Unit (TIU) and the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA).
The tablets were provided under a joint project which seeks to improve the information and communication technology infrastructure at the CPFSA to better serve the needs of vulnerable children and their families.
The tablets were presented to children in state care who were successful in four or more 2019-20 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency (CAPE) subjects. Thirty-eight recipients were successful in CSEC subjects and eight in CAPE. More than half of the CSEC students received passes in seven or more subjects, with the top performer passing 10 CSEC subjects. Among the recipients of the tablets were students entering sixth form as well students matriculating to various tertiary institutions, including the University of the West Indies, Caribbean Maritime University, and the University of Technology.
One of the recipients shared that the tablet was a much-appreciated gift, as he needed it for school, which he is currently attending online, expressing that “it came at the right time.” Another, who is majoring in Computer Science, observed that the tablet would help with her computer coding for school.
Speaking at the handover, CEO at the CPFSA Rosalee Gage Gray said that the tablets provided, are academic tools to facilitate the students’ education. She emphasised that this was “indeed another worthwhile donation, which signifies the government’s commitment to supporting the students all the way, until the completion of tertiary studies, and successful transition into independent living.”
In the meantime, Executive Director of the TIU, Maria Thompson Walters noted that the provision of the tablets comes at a time when they are most needed given the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for students to have access to online platforms for learning. She added that the donation forms part of the ICT expansion project at the CPFSA which includes upgrading the Agency’s call centre and automation of the process to refer child abuse; the provision of computers and tablets for field staff; consolidating IT platforms; establishing resource centres; the provision of additional psychological tool; and the installation of sensory equipment in five nurseries across the island.