The St. Barnabas Special School on Wednesday received 20 Tablets, a quantity of backpacks and other school supplies from the Junior Sammy Group of Companies Incorporated. A representative of Trinidadian company’s local affiliate, JS Guyana Incorporated, handed over the items at a simple ceremony held at the school.
Senior Education Officer at the Ministry of Education, Mr. Sherwyn Blackman extended gratitude to the company for the donation.
“I want to say right off that this gesture is one that we will continue to remember and commemorate highly simply because we are creating in each of these learners that will benefit from this process today, another opportunity for them to be able to be the success story that they can be.”
Mr. Blackman also said the items will contribute to the students’ academic development, even as Guyana grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I know that in every negative situation, we can find a positive and we can safely say that the Junior Sammy Guyana Inc. has created the positive in this negative situation and for that, from the Department, and by extension the Ministry of Education, we can say we are very grateful for you to stepping on board.”
Meanwhile, in his address, Special Education Needs Officer, Mr. Gordon Roberts said the school had faced numerous challenges during the pandemic, particularly with providing access to learning. He said the teachers have been printing worksheets and reaching out to individual students as for some students, face-to-face interaction was necessary to ensure learning.
“The Junior Sammy Group of Companies would have donated 20 Tablets to us and accessing these Tablets will definitely assist in this home-schooling process. A lot of times parents are complaining of the workload that is coming into their cell phones, and they have their own responsibilities and they have to go to work as well. So, this donation is very timely and practical,” he said.
Mr. Roberts encouraged the students, and parents, who received these learning packages to utilise them for education.
“I’m sure you’re going to also understand that there is a form of accountability and responsibility as well to use these devices for education purposes. I cannot prevent you from using it for entertainment, but just remember that the ultimate goal is for us to access learning through these devices,” he said.
Meanwhile, company representative, Ms. Yolander Persaud said the company was pleased to make the donation as part of its corporate social responsibility. She said the company recognises the challenges imposed by Covid and felt compelled to assist students with special needs.
“We hope that our small donation today can help the students of the St. Barnabas Special School, so that they too can enjoy the fundamental right to education, regardless of their limitations,” she said.
Speaking with DPI, student Shamar Damon, who was accompanied by his parents, promised to use his Tablet for educational purposes and to take good care of the device. [Extracted from DPI]