TORONTO, Ontario (Tuesday, November 16, 2021) — Ontario-based PACE Canada (Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education) donated 1000 onetab teaching devices to the National Education Trust Jamaica Limited (NETJL), last Thursday.
NETJL will distribute the tablets — which contain educational software that allows students, aged 3 to 6 years old, to teach themselves literacy and numeracy — to over 200 Early Childhood Institutions, in all the parishes, across Jamaica.
The targeted students, who live in the rural areas of the country, are without computers and have had their education impacted significantly, due to months of school closings, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Karlene DeGrasse-Deslandes, Executive Director of the Early Childhood Commission expressed her appreciation for the devices: “The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) extends gratitude to PACE Canada for always supporting the children of Jamaica. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the lives of our children, especially those in the early childhood age cohort residing in rural areas, who are without devices. This donation of 1000 learning devices is a significant step in assisting our children to get back to normal.”
The developer of the onetab devices, Onebillion.org, based in the United Kingdom, was a recipient of the Global Learning XPrize in 2019.
The company’s award-winning oncourse software uses adaptive learning to enable children to learn, both literacy and numeracy, delivered in 40-minute daily lessons — each based on the child’s level, using a pool of thousands of learning units. Once a child has finished its lesson, the onetab can be seamlessly passed to the next child for their lesson. The devices work without the need for internet or online access, and a daily charge will provide at least eight hours of learning.
PACE Canada purchased the devices through donations from its members, supporters, and community partnerships — including the Jamaica Canadian Association’s Women’s Committee, George Brown College, Central Jamaica Organization, and family and friends’ donations, in memory of deceased loved ones.
PACE Canada President, Diana Burke, a career technology executive, believes that technology and education is a key to success for future generations.
“This has been escalated by the virtual learning environments, required during the COVID-19 pandemic, and those, who could not participate, are at risk of being left behind. The onetab devices will help to bridge that gap,” she stated.
The tablets were received at a formal handover ceremony, spearheaded by PACE’s Director of Communications, Mark Fullerton, at the offices of Jamaica’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
At the event, Education, Youth and Information Minister, Fayval Williams, asserted, “A child should be provided with resources and opportunities to achieve their full potential. These devices are a step in this direction.”
Founded in 1987, PACE Canada has worked in partnership with Jamaica’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) to support over 300 Early Childhood schools, island-wide, through funding, and delivery of technology and education opportunities.