The distribution of electronic devices continued this week in Roseau as students from the primary schools in the Roseau Central Constituency all received their own devices.

The ceremony was held on Monday, November 8 2021 at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium as a direct response to the challenges faced this school year, as a spike Covid-19 cases has reverted classes to an online platform.   

These devices were provided to the Ministry of Education from the Ministry of Digital Economy.

Minister for Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training and National Excellence, Hon. Octavia Alfred stated that over the past two weeks, the Government of Dominica has distributed over 2000 tablets to students of primary schools across the island with the assistance of the Global Partnership in Education. 

She thanked development partners who continue to support Dominica’s efforts to facilitate children’s learning in during what she described as “this most uncertain period in education.”  

“This Government is committed to the education of Dominica’s children and you have once again seen this on display in the past few weeks. Unable to return to face to face learning due to the prevalence of Covid-19 in our communities, we have since October 4, used to virtual modality to engage our students.  To dress the issue of access, Government introduced Net4All. But to ensure that every child can participate in online learning, we need internet but we also need devices and we have traveled around the island to ensure that our students have devices,” Hon Alfred stated.

The Education Minister went on to say that the Government and the Ministry have realized their duties in ensuring that each child is equipped for virtual learning.

“As Government and as the Ministry of Education, we recognize that we must equip all our students to participate fully and this is what we are about. We are empowering ach child, each family, to fully take advantage of all the possibilities that exist with virtual learning. Since the start of this pandemic, our teachers have adjusted their methodologies, updated their skills and grabbed the opportunity to adopt new methods of reaching each child,” Hon. Alfred added.

Member of Parliament for the Roseau Central Constituency, Hon. Melissa Skerrit stated that these devices will assist students in developing the skills needed in a rapidly evolving digital economy.                                                                                                                                   

“The continuing distribution of devices is part of Government’s vision for a Dynamic Dominica which empowers our citizens, in particular the youth, with digital skills for success in a rapidly advancing digital economy. This academic year started off with much anxiety for many stakeholders. However our concerns were immediately dispelled by the seamless transition proposed by the Ministry of Education. That is our students were advised to remain at home with lessons taught online,” Hon. Skerrit stated.

The Roseau Central MP added that education remains a pillar of success and students should be equipped to learn whether at home or school.

”This covid-19 pandemic has made it abundantly clear that all students should have full access to educational resources to facilitate constant learning whether at home or in school. Education remains one of the major pillars of success for a nation and it is for this reasons that this Government has launched an island wide device distribution programme for students who do not own immediate technological devices,” Hon. Skerrit went on to say.

Minister for Telecommunications and Broadcasting, Hon. Oscar George stated that island wide access to the internet is a priority for this administration.

“Access to connectivity and the internet is one of the top priorities for this Government and furthermore connectivity has never been more important given the advent of this pandemic. This is a pandemic that has resulted in a paradigm shift in the way we live for all of us, including our young students,” Hon. George noted.

Hon. George stated that the Government of Dominica continues to prioritize education because the children are the future of their communities and their countries.

“It’s always a pleasure for me to speak to young students and I say that because when I look at the students sitting here, I see the future of not only the constituency, but I see the future of Dominica. I see future doctors, I see future engineers, future ICT men and women, future business women, and is because of this, we have decided to put education at the forefront of all what we do as part of the Government. Because we believe that at this young age at the primary school level our students are able to develop their innovative skills and develop all the knowledge that they require to move on in life,” Hon. George stated.

So far numerous schools around Dominica has received devices including the La Plaine Primary, San Sauveur Primary, Grand Bay Primary, Tete Morne Primary, Roseau Primary, Goodwill Primary, Baroness Patricia Scotland Primary, the Penville Primary, Thibaud Primary, Mahaut Primary and the Atkinson, Salybia, Sineku and Concord Primary schools.