Barbadians living in the diaspora continue to respond to the need for devices to support emergency remote/online learning.
This time, it is the Barbadian community in the Cayman Islands, which donated 12 Alcatel tablets with keyboards, and Barbadian Madame Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix of the Appellate Court of New York State, who contributed a Hewlett-Packard laptop.
Barbados’ Ambassador to the United Nations, Elizabeth Thompson, recently presented the devices to the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, on behalf of the donors.
The presentation was facilitated by Barbados’ Honorary Consul in the Cayman Islands, Juliette Gooding.
Ambassador Thompson said she had been in touch with Barbadians in the diaspora asking them to assist with the tech drive and some of them were eager to answer the call.
“What we are seeing here is a Barbadian willingness to give back to Barbados at a time of need and to ensure that our students are equipped … to become innovative, creative and to be fully imaginative in the use of the technology so that Barbados can be a fully competitive country in the global market.
“The use of the diaspora and the leveraging of the diaspora to support development activities, raising capital, supporting national initiatives has been significantly under-utilised and it is important now that we are in a time of extreme financial stricture as a result of COVID,” she underscored, adding that there is a large Barbadian community in the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos and Bermuda.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Romel Springer, said the Ministry was grateful for the overwhelming response to its Tech Drive “from friends of Barbados, Corporate Barbados, individuals and members of the diaspora”.
He further added that the outpouring of support, whether in the form of tablets, laptops or other devices, enabled the Ministry of Education to provide crucial assistance to students from vulnerable households, so that they, too, could benefit from the online teaching resources.
“Partnerships, such as this, clearly demonstrate the Ministry’s commitment to the educational well-being of the nation’s children and further evidence that the Government of Barbados will take the necessary action to ensure that inclusive and equitable education is always available and maintained,” Springer stated.