The High Commission of Canada has presented tablet computers to local non-profit organisation City Life Ministries to provide information and communications technology (ICT) academic support to its ‘City Kids’ programme.
The tablets were handed over at an official ceremony held on Thursday (October 1) in Parade Gardens, Kingston.
The City Kids programme aims to provide ICT and other academic support to inner-city youth to assist the virtual learning environment and to support the establishment of homeschool clusters in three inner-city communities in Kingston. These are Waterhouse, Tivoli Gardens and Parade Gardens.
Twenty-four tablets will be distributed to the City Kids homeschool clusters in these communities. Training in the use of ICT, curriculum delivery and hygiene will be provided for “parent-teachers” in these clusters.
In his address, Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, Donovan Williams, commended the City Life Ministries team for the initiative.
He also thanked the Canadian High Commission for its support of small local projects that significantly improve the outcomes of inner-city youth.
“The only way that we will be able to solve some of the problems in this area is to start with our children. A project of this nature can only serve to build our communities,” he said.
For her part, Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Laurie Peters, said the Government of Canada is pleased to assist in a programme with the potential to build communities.
“These stories at the community level are what make Jamaica vibrant and will help to build back better post-COVID-19. It means a lot to us to be able to see how our Canada Fund can, each year, give a boost to small scale-projects such as this, that have big heart and big impact. It is good to see how these funds can have significant impact, even beyond this project,” she added.
Meanwhile, Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Sharon Smith-Whyte, said the Government endorses the initiative and stands ready to offer support to the programme.
“The Ministry is proud to be part of this initiative and we are looking forward to seeing what will happen in these communities. We will be here to support the teachers and parents with the curriculum,” she said.
Executive Director, City Life Ministries, Carrington Morgan, said the programme seeks to emphasise the importance of education in the home.
He pointed out that the initiative is timely, as the education sector has been significantly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19), adding that the programme seeks to encourage more parental involvement in their children’s education.
Morgan said the City Kids programme is to be rolled out on a phased basis with the intention of expanding the programme across the country.
The tablets are being provided through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), which provides funding for small-scale, high-impact projects in developing countries that align with the Global Affairs Canada’s thematic priority areas.