#Nassau, Bahamas, October 22, 2020– Schools, libraries, and community centres serve as central access points to a range of programmes and services that meet the needs of the public. As the online school year begins, many students without the necessary devices at home will turn to these institutions as resources during their virtual learning experience.
Aware of this, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Technology Team presented sixty-three computers to eight critical community treasures.
Reverend Clinton Josey of the African Methodist Episcopal Community Centre in Savannah Sound, Eleuthera, is especially thankful and described the bank’s donation as “important and timely.”
“A number of the boys and girls in the community have had to walk or hike a ride to other settlements to have access to a computer or the internet. Our students from our local church and the community can now just walk a minute or so to the centre to complete assignments and projects in a timely manner and not pay community centre fees because it belongs to our community,” he said.
The Palmdale Primary Special Education Unit, Claridge Primary School, Arthur’s Town High School in Cat Island and various public libraries including the Nassau Public Library, Eastern Public Library, Carmichael Public Library and National Library and Information Services are also now better equipped for this eventuality.
Ms. Serethea Clarke, Under Secretary at the Ministry of Education (MOE), in her thanks to CIBC FirstCaribbean, also described the donation as timely.
“These will assist us in achieving our goals in ensuring that our teachers are well equipped and, in the case of our libraries, students will be able to access information at their fingertips to be able to complete research and to ensure that they are active participants in the learning process,” she said while accepting the devices on behalf of the MOE.
“We all know that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, e-learning is the new norm. Unfortunately, many students still have challenges accessing online education,” said Mrs. Nikia Christie, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Marketing Manager.
“Our hope is that these devices will not only assist disadvantaged students while they are working safely at home but also later on when they can safely return to schools. Donating computers to libraries and the community centre ensures that there are additional safe and quiet places for them to learn and study.”
Mrs. Christie underscored that “this is not the end.” She said there are also schools and organizations in Abaco and on Grand Bahama that the bank would be looking to donate to as it ensures as many students as possible have access to virtual learning. “CIBC FirstCaribbean is committed to helping the communities that we serve and we are happy to make this donation to ensure that children have suitable computer equipment to continue their education during this challenging time,” said Andrew Hanna, Senior Manager of Technology, CIBC FirstCaribbean.