As schools across the island embark on multiple modes of teaching, the digital learning capacity of students and teachers at Balata Primary School has been strengthened with the recent provision of twenty-eight digital devices by the Sandals Foundation.
The donation, valued at $18,000 comprises 12 laptops for teachers and 16 digital tablets for students and follows on the philanthropic organisation’s continued commitment to fostering an equitably resourced education landscape.
“The Sandals Foundation believes that education offers the greatest opportunity for helping children reach their full potential and that can only be possible if they are equipped with the necessary tools to help them explore and discover,” said Heidi Clarke, executive director at the Sandals Foundation.
“We are beyond excited to be able to add these devices to the resources of St. Lucia’s education landscape and more specifically, the Balata Primary School. All were made possible by the donations of some of our incredible Sandals Resorts guests, the Tarr Family, who have over the years made significant investments into the island’s key industries,” said Clarke
Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, some five hundred and seventy-five (575) digital tablets have been donated to support the remote learning needs of students in St. Lucia. Following on the donation of two hundred (200) digital tablets in November in 2020, an impressive three hundred and seventy-five (375) additional devices were donated in March of last year, the latter – again made possible by the Tarrs.
Speaking at a recent handover ceremony, Balata school teacher Virgina Williams said the devices will enhance the teaching experience, “The devices come at an ideal time and will be a big help in supporting the administrative and instructional needs of teachers,” said Williams.
“The world as we know it is constantly changing and that includes the teaching and learning environment. We have home schooling and online schooling and without the computers, we will not be able to reach out to the students – and that’s most important”.
Donated devices in the past are now helping a cross-section of students in the island, including pupils in close to ten schools, children with disabilities at the Child Development and Guidance Centre, and youth in the marginalized community of Wilton’s Yard which is part of the Safe Spaces program of RISE (St Lucia) Inc.
Education is a major area of work for the Sandals Foundation – collaborating with numerous local and regional partners to refurbish and equip school libraries, host literacy and numeracy workshops, provide school resources, teaching aids, sporting resources, as well as first aid training and supplies.