Over the past two weeks, many students on the island have had to focus their efforts to adapt to online learning due to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have on our country and more particularly on our education system. However, various students find it difficult to participate fully in class on a daily basis because they do not have access to the appropriate learning equipment. Accordingly, in order to assist in the transition to an online learning forum, the Dominica National Youth Council will donate two (2) tablets to five (5) schools on the island, namely: Soufriere Primary, Newtown Primary, Atkinson Primary School, Sineku Primary School and Salybia Primary School.
This initiative is part of our Strong Bodies, Strong Minds (SBSM) pilot project which aims to strengthen both physical endurance and academic ability of our elementary students through extracurricular activities in partnership with Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica (CREAD). and funded by United Way Trinidad & Tobago.
As previously stated, SBSM is an after-school program where students learn a myriad of skills ranging from cooking to sports, farming, and even traditional aspects of our culture such as dance, music, herbs, and medicine. However, after the outbreak of Covid-19 cases and the shutdown of classroom learning, the board realized that its initial approach to afternoon classes would no longer be plausible at this time, therefore. , a new strategy should be adopted. The tablet donation initiative was developed as a user-friendly adjustment to the COVID-19 SBSM where students whose families could not otherwise afford the devices or maintain their internet use, would now have these concerns.
NYCD President Ashma McDougall echoes the sentiments of many regarding the challenges of online learning and the NYCD’s best intentions to help at least a few students.
“We recognized that the transition to online learning has proven to be a challenge for many people who lack the devices that can facilitate learning in these precarious times. Therefore, the NYCD decided to contribute to the five schools that we previously identified for our SBSM programs in Soufrière, Newtown and the territory of Kalinago. We will donate two tablets to each of these schools for the students identified by their principal ”, declared the president.
She added that while the council is aware that tablets are only part of the challenge, the project “will complement and provide internet services with the tablet for students.”
McDougall encourages students who will use the devices to be careful and responsible, as the tablets will remain the property of schools for present and future purposes.
NYCD Project Officer Starel Seraphin noted that although the SBSM program has been in limbo since the transition to virtual learning, he firmly believes this donation will go a long way in our country’s efforts to stay home and stay in. security during this pandemic.
President McDougall concluded by adding that if “we understand two tablets [per school] aren’t much, we think it’s at least a great way to help out even if it’s through something as small as this. We are very happy to be able to make this contribution to schools with this online transition, as we understand that in some of these communities, families are not able to provide devices for some students. Therefore, we see this going a long way, especially for the students who will be affected and we have invited other institutions, organizations and even individuals to continue doing what they can to support our students at this time. unprecedented. “