Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Senator Dr. Romel Springer (right); President of the Rotary Club of Barbados, Fiona Hinds; and FirstCaribbean International Bank (Barbados) Ltd. representative, Raymond Ward, are seen here with some of the 20 laptops donated to the Ministry yesterday. (MRD)

The Rotary Club of Barbados and FirstCaribbean International Bank (FCIB) (Barbados) Ltd. are doing their part to ensure students will have access to emergency remote learning.

To this end, they donated 20 laptops to the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, yesterday.

President of the Rotary Club, Fiona Hinds, said Rotary saw a need to help in order for children to have “a chance in the digital world”. 

However, she said the Club could not do it alone and sought the assistance of one of its sponsor partners, FirstCaribbean International Bank, which readily responded.

Raymond Ward of FCIB, explained that the bank willingly embraced the opportunity to help students, and has not been silent during the COVID-19 pandemic, but has responded by assisting with various causes and initiatives both locally and regionally.

“In March, when the first cases started to surface in the region, we donated US $250,000 to the various countries to assist with the purchase of much-needed COVID-19 testing kits. In Barbados, we donated BDS $50,000 to the Adopt A Family programme …. In addition, the bank donated $20,000 to the Barbados Alliance to End Homelessness … as we sought to assist the disadvantaged at this very trying time.

“It gives me great pleasure today, to be part of this presentation where we hand over 20 tablets to the Rotary Club and the Ministry of Education, to ensure that 20 more of our children will be able to take advantage of the educational opportunities offered to them through online schooling,” Mr. Ward asserted.

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Senator Dr. Romel Springer, told those at the presentation that the local educational sector had been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that it was the Ministry’s goal to ensure that “the process of educating our nation’s children is not curtailed”.

“Learning through the use of technologies obviously now becomes an integral part of the process.  You would appreciate that there are vulnerable groups within society where children have no access to such technologies. And therefore, it is with deep gratitude that we acknowledge this generous donation of 20 tablets.

“I sincerely thank the Rotary Club of Barbados and FirstCaribbean International Bank (Barbados) Limited for choosing to give back and being willing to partner with this Ministry to safeguard equitable scholastic security for the children of this nation by ensuring that all of them can have access to the necessary distance learning modalities and that no child is left behind,” Senator Springer emphasised.

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