LAST WEDNESDAY November 17, 2021, telecommunications company FLOW St. Vincent and the Grenadines, handed over a quantity of tablets to the Ministry of Education for use by students from the volcanic Red Zone, whose tablets were either lost or destroyed during the evacuation process on Thursday April 08, 2021, and during the days thereafter.
Speaking at the handover ceremony at the Country Manager’s offices on Halifax Street, FLOW Acting Country Manager, Shelly-Anne Toney said: “Today we are donating 75 tablets to assist students in the Red Zone who have either damaged or lost their tablets, thus ensuring that they continue to stay connected to their online classes.
“The disruption to the education system around the world poses severe long-term negative effects on young children. At Cable and Wireless Charitable Foundation our efforts are focused on providing access to devices and improving connectivity in underserved communities.”
Myccle Burke Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education called on parents, “to ensure that the devices are used for the purpose intended.”
Burke said that it was an “important and critical gesture by FLOW St. Vincent. It is anticipated that [the] ‘FLOW’ will become a flood and there will be gestures of this nature that will redound to the benefit of all citizens particularly our students as we build an education enterprise.
He added: “We know that companies that rank highly are companies that honour their corporate responsibility. Today what we are witnessing is not just a company honouring its corporate responsibility but a company that feels the pulse of a nation, that feels the pulse of a Ministry of Education, an education system, and has stepped up to lend its support and for this we are extremely grateful.
“We can say definitively that these devices will be put to proper use for the purpose it was intended.”
Minister of Education Curtis King, who along with Permanent Secretary Burke received the tablets on behalf of the Ministry of Education, lauded the donation, saying that it as a worthwhile initiative by Cable and Wireless.
“The decision here to provide our students from the Red Zone who were severely impacted by the explosive eruptions of the volcano in April of this year is most welcome. In the changing environment of our education landscape where the situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic is of such fluidity that it is very often that changes have to be made,” King said.
“Where the continuity of learning is concerned we always have to be thinking outside of the box. We always have to be flexible in our approach. In this new landscape the issue of Internet connection, the issue of devices is very important because today we cannot think of the continuity of education without referring to the format or the mode of instruction.,” the education minister added.
“Instruction at our educational institutions… is provided via different modes,and a very popular one is the online or virtual mode. In order to access instructions online or the virtual mode where there must be Internet connection, there must be a device
to access. “What Cable and Wireless is doing here this morning is indeed magnanimous, and it is welcome and appreciated by the Ministry of Education. Moreover the fact that the company is reaching out to students impacted in the danger zone is quite significant. It comes at a cost and you have to take care of these devices that Cable and Wireless would like to be assured that those receiving the devices will take care of them,” the minister also noted.
Mission Week is where the Cable and Wireless employees are afforded the opportunity to make a contribution to the community.
Acting Country Manager, Toney pointed out that FLOW is celebrating its second annual Mission Week which “is a company-wide initiative where our employees in the Caribbean and Latin America contribute their time, energy and knowledge to positively impact the community.
She explained that the Cable and Wireless Foundation was launched in 2017 as part of their commitment to doing business in a responsible and sustainable way.
“Today it is a powerful platform helping to engage and enable progress and build more resilience in communities across our region,” Toney said.
“Since its launch the Foundation has donated millions of dollars to help local, regional, and international agencies deliver relief and recovery projects across the Caribbean and Latin America. Our donations have touched lives and people in all the islands that Cable and Wireless operate.”