By: Sharell Lockhart

Times have certainly changed and along with it is the way students worldwide are receiving educational instruction, as a matter of fact, greater emphasis is placed on virtual learning in today’s COVID-19 sensitive environment. Parents are now required to purchase laptops and tablets for their children, which is difficult due to financial instability hence the Rotary club of Freeport has worked diligently to lend a helping hand.

Othyneil Pinder, Rotary Club of Freeport President proudly donated 16 Intel Pentium Core desktop computers and 12 iPads to Jack Hayward Senior High School on Tuesday October 27th, 2020 much to the delight of Principal Bronwen Smith.

According to Pinder, “The Rotary Club of Freeport in conjunction with the Mayfield Beach, Florida group are elated to present students at Jack Hayward Senior High School with much-needed desktop and laptop computers to assist with enhancing their education. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic virtual or hybrid learning is the order of the day and many parents are not able to purchase these electronics hence we thought it fitting to do what we can as an organization keen on rendering service above self to assist."
 
“A few years prior the Rotary Club of Freeport would have adopted Eight Mile Rock High School and donated computers there as we understood then, times were changing and, we were entering a more technological era.

“Again, we are so please to expand our efforts particularly in this instance, as it will help our students to be more equipped and it will ease the burden placed on parents to make such purchases; furthermore we know that the government is not able to provide every student in the country with a device and today’s donation would certainly help in that vein.”

Principal Smith noted the donation could not have come at a more opportune time particularly for those students whose parents cannot afford it. Furthermore, she stated that she is grateful to have the partnership of Rotary and other organizations that do their part to render aid in whatever capacity they can to the wider community.
“Undoubtedly, I am excited about the partnership established with the Rotary Club of Freeport and that President Pinder is cognizant of the fact that we are in a virtual age and everyone is in need of a laptop or tablet to engage in and complete assignments online.

“Both our students and teachers need to be equipped for this virtual platform hence the donation is timely and significant for our school,” declared Principal Smith.

Reliable internet access is paramount as well and Principal Smith also expressed her thanks to internet providers for assisting the school with upgrades to ensure intermittent drops in services is kept at a minimum.

Both the school as well as the Ministry of Education are working diligently to ensure students are properly equipped to embrace this virtual era and applaud philanthropic persons and civic organizations like the rotary Club of Freeport for their unwavering support.