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PC desktops for Nelson Street Girls’ as schools seek devices

Stories by Lara Pickford-Gordon

The Nelson St Girls’ RC School Port of Spain received a donation of refurbished computers from the Save a Youth Save a Life (SAYSAL) group on September 25.

Michelle Boisselle-Morris, director of SAYSAL said the donation was a collaboration with Restore a Sense of I Can, and Republic Bank. The bank donated computers and Restore a Sense of I Can, located in Penal refurbished them. SAYSAL bought headsets, cameras and obtained WiFi for the eight workstations.

“We chose Nelson St Girls’ because SAYSAL is an organisation that works predominantly in high crime areas with marginalised youth,” Boisselle-Morris said. Kelli Coombs, SAYSAL director was also present to do the presentations.

“We are trying our best to get devices,” said principal Lisa Hinds-Lynch at a handing-over ceremony at the school. The school got five tablets from the St Joseph’s Convent Past Pupils’ Association over two weeks ago. See Page 12.

“People have been helping so we are trying to make sure that every single child in this school is equipped to deal with these new parameters of learning,” she said. The school has 324 pupils.

The principal has been “begging” for help to source devices for her pupils. The feedback received from some persons was, “we went last week it is one price, come back this week and it is $100 extra for the tablet.”

Hinds-Lynch said it was “ridiculous” and hurtful that persons were price gouging at this time.

The parents on hand to collect the computers were happy and grateful.

Kelly Pierre Callender, explained that while she could access the Google Classroom for her eight-year-old daughter using her phone, but she could not access the online face-to-face classes.

WhatsApp messaging was how she got instructions from the Standard Two teacher for videos to watch on YouTube etc. “At the end of the day she will post a message saying you are doing Mathematics, or Language and whichever book and what pages so they will know what page to do,” Pierre Callender said.

To keep up-to-date on the lessons, a friend whose child was in the online classes sent WhatsApp messages of the work covered and photos of notes.

Pierre Callender has another daughter attending Success Laventille Secondary. She went to the school to pick up printed material, the completed work is returned on specific days and new material collected. “That is how I get the work for her,” she said.

The computer received will be shared. Pierre Callender said the computer could be used for three days by one daughter and two days by the other. “Everybody will get a little chance, but I will still try and get all the information”.

Sherry-Ann Springer, whose daughter will be going into Standard Four said her daughter will now be in a better position to do her schoolwork and can learn about computers. “I am really grateful and thankful for it,” she said.