Marjorie Straw, Barita Foundation and PACE Canada forge partnership to bridge digital divide
Marjorie Straw and the Barita Foundation launched an initiative to support and bolster PACE Canada’s GoFundMe project, which seeks to acquire funding for an additional 1,000 OneTab devices for early childhood schools in Jamaica.
Unlocking the gateway to early childhood education, the OneTab device, endorsed by the Early Childhood Commission and the Ministry of Education, delivers an immersive learning experience designed exclusively for children between three and six years.
Foundation director Sancia Thompson, shared at Wednesday’s launch that the organisation is passionate about the growth of Early Childhood Education.
“We recognise that the formative years of a child’s life are crucial, laying the foundation for a lifetime of learning. It’s important that we set the foundation here,” said Thompson.
“As we embark on this noble journey, we invite fellow corporate citizens and private donors to join hands with us in supporting this cause. By contributing funds…it does bridge the digital divide that currently exists. There is no need for us to think about geographical locations or constraints, allowing every child to have access to quality education,” she added.
During her remarks, President of PACE Canada, Diana Burke, urged individuals to donate to the initiative, stressing that students need to have access to develop their digital skills and become a part of the technological age.
“Since our founding, PACE has always partnered with the Ministry of Education in Jamaica and the ECC. This collaborative effort is a testament to our commitment to not only just provide resources, money, books, computers, but to promote compliance with their 12 standards for early childhood excellence,” said Burke.
“There are over 2,000 early childhood education institutions in Jamaica and we have only so far impacted 200, so there is much more to do,” she later added.
The initiative was endorsed by the State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Marsha Smith, who noted that the donation of the tablets will create endless possibilities for Jamaican youths.
“What they can do with that technology at three to four or five years old is amazing and creates a necessary building block for the different skills that they need to add as they go up into the different stages in education,” said Smith.
She acknowledged that the early childhood sector is plagued with issues concerning funding and commended the Barita Foundation and PACE Canada for their efforts to develop Jamaica’s human capital.
“This is an opportunity to move from thought, from inaction to action in a real and positive way,” she added, urging individuals to donate.