JBI donates 70 tablets to Manchester schools

May 14, 2021
Students from six of seven schools in Manchester North West, which have benefited from a donation of tablets from the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI), show off the devices during a handover ceremony at the Mile Gully High School in the parish on Thursday. Sharing the moment are Member of Parliament for the constituency, Mikhail Philips (back row, third left); principals of the institutions and executives from the JBI.

The Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) has donated 70 tablets valued at $1.5 million to seven schools in Manchester.

The institutions are Mile Gully High, Somerset Primary, Coley Mountain Primary and Infant, Huntley Primary and Infant, Comfort Hall Primary, St Paul Primary and Freetown Primary.

Speaking at the handover ceremony held at Mile Gully High School on Thursday (May 13), General Manager of the JBI, Stevie Barnett, explained that the devices were purchased from funds allocated every three to four years to constituencies where bauxite mining is undertaken.

The funds are earmarked for infrastructure work.

Barnett indicated that the bulk of the devices would go to Mile Gully High.

Principal of the institution, Christopher Tyme, expressed gratitude for the donation of the devices, noting that they will help the students to access online classes.

“We are hoping that once they have the tablets they will get into the classes and benefit from instruction from teachers. We also hope they will use the devices to do online research,” Tyme said.

Principal of Comfort Hall Primary and Infant, Cherine Nicholson, told JIS News that she is happy to receive the tablets, as only 40 per cent of her students have access to online instruction.

“We reach them via WhatsApp and through the delivery of printed material. The parents come at scheduled times to collect the material for the students,” she noted.

Member of Parliament for North West Manchester, where the schools are located, Mikhail Phillips, lauded the JBI for the gesture.

“We know that the pandemic has presented an issue with access to contact time for students, so we asked permission of the JBI to use the funds (allocated to the constituency) for this purpose,” he said.

He noted that the principals were given the latitude to select the students who would receive the tablets.

Phillips urged the students to take care of the devices and use them for the intended purpose.

“I know you will have fun with them otherwise, but this is mainly for your education,” he pointed out.

Phillips indicated that the constituency will be receiving another 100 tablets through the Ministry of Finance and Public Service and, again, the principals will be asked to select the recipients.

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