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    Election 2020 Results

Friday 14 August, 2020

Digicel Foundation donates 1,000 tablets to special needs schools

Photo: Sherry Ann Rollocks- Hackett School Supervisor III Division of Education, Cordella Pantin Principal of Tobago School for the Deaf, Dianne Le Cointe Principal Happy Haven, Denese Coby-Quashie Administrator, Division of Education and Diane Karen Boatswain School Supervisor II Primary, proudly display the tablets donated by the Digicel Foundation to begin virtual educational learning for special schools in Tobago. Photo courtesy the Digicel Foundation.

Photo: Sherry Ann Rollocks- Hackett School Supervisor III Division of Education, Cordella Pantin Principal of Tobago School for the Deaf, Dianne Le Cointe Principal Happy Haven, Denese Coby-Quashie Administrator, Division of Education and Diane Karen Boatswain School Supervisor II Primary, proudly display the tablets donated by the Digicel Foundation to begin virtual educational learning for special schools in Tobago. Photo courtesy the Digicel Foundation.

23 special needs schools received over 1,000 tablets along with access to free data courtesy the Digicel Foundation and Digicel Trinidad and Tobago.

In a statement, the company said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual learning has now become the 'new normal', and the Digicel Foundation stepped in to provide assistance to special needs schools.  

The Digicel Foundation said it has invested TT$695,250 to purchase 1,095 devices for the schools.

(Photo: The Goodwill Industries students dig into the life size tablet box to find 45 tablets hidden inside. CEO of Goodwill Industries, Dr. Barbara Alleyne looks on. Photo courtesy the Digicel Foundation.)

Dianne Le Cointe, Principal of the Happy Haven Special School, expressed gratitude after receiving tablets for schools for students with special needs in Tobago.

She said: “By heavenly intervention our friends from the Digicel Foundation stepped up to the plate. We are part of online learning. It’s our prayer that other corporate bodies can take a feather out of their cap to support students with disabilities.” 

To mitigate the immediate impact of dismissed classes, particularly for the special needs community, and to facilitate the continuity of schooling through remote learning, the Digicel Foundation partnered with 23 special needs schools to launch “Connecting You” on June 26 in Trinidad and June 29 in Tobago. 

At the launch, 23 special needs schools received 1,095 tablets for 991 students and 104 teachers. 

Students without access to connectivity also received three months’ free unlimited data courtesy Digicel.

Education Minister Anthony Garcia sent video greetings endorsing the project and praised the Digicel Foundation for their initiatives which continue “to exemplify the way in which Public Sector and Private Sector can collaborate for the benefit of the nation.”

He added that “Connecting You will allow for the ministry to achieve its goal of access, equity, quality and good governance through inclusive education.”

Speaking at the event in Trinidad, Sacha Thompson, Corporate Secretary, Digicel Foundation explained that “Connecting You” closes the gap that special educators have been experiencing with alternative learning during this COVID-19 era.   

Also endorsing the project via video message was Minister of Social Development and Family Services Camille Robinson-Regis, thanking the Foundation for allowing her Ministry to fulfil their motto of “Helping, Empowering and Transforming Lives’.

Present at the launch event were principals from 6 out of the 23 special needs schools: Lady Hochoy, Arima, New Beginnings, Wharton-Patrick School, Life Centre, Palmera’s Learning Centre, Rio Claro Learning and Development and Goodwill Industries. Over in Tobago, both beneficiary schools attended, the Tobago School for the Deaf and Happy Haven School.

The Foundation said it has spent the past eight years supporting, and implementing programmes that advocate for inclusion and improve opportunities available to persons with special needs. 

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