Ninety laptops were today presented to the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training from the Student Revolving Loan Fund (SRLF) during a handover ceremony at the Elsie Payne Complex, Constitution Road, St. Michael.
The devices worth $100,000 will be later presented to schools across the island.
Providing the background to the initiative, Administrative Manager of the SRLF, Ambrose Johnson, said when the idea to assist the Ministry was first suggested, it was readily approved by the Board.
He added: “I vividly remember the Board saying that the donation should be seen as an investment in our young people. This perspective is consistent with the objectives of the Student Revolving Loan Fund because what we do is to encourage persons to get loans, so as our tag line says, so they can invest in themselves.”
Emphasising that the Fund was “particularly pleased” to make the presentation, Mr. Johnson said: “When we think about charitable donations, we usually think in terms of the private sector, but the fact that as a state-owned enterprise we can donate some 90 laptops, at an approximate cost of $100,000, is testimony to what government-owned entities can achieve.”
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry, Senator Dr. Romel Springer, in welcoming the donation of the 90 laptops, made an appeal to those Barbadians who had benefited from the Fund to repay those loans.
Stating that the aim of the Fund was to provide assistance to Barbadians who wished to further their education to tertiary level but were constrained by limited financial resources, Dr. Springer said it could only remain viable and fulfil its mandate, “if those who have benefited from it, honour their moral and legal responsibility of repaying outstanding funds in a timely manner”.
He added that the 90 laptops would assist the Ministry in achieving its goal of providing electronic devices to students from needy households or families.
Since its establishment, some 43 years ago, the Student Revolving Loan Fund has approved loans in excess of $325 million, enabling more than 14,000 Barbadian students to pursue a diversity of programmes, in various parts of the world.