Old Harbour students get tablets from MP
Two hundred and fifty students and their parents from Old Harbour and its environs are celebrating an early Christmas after they received gifts of tablets and laptops last Thursday.
St Catherine South West Member of Parliament Everald Warmington donated 100 tablets and 40 laptops to the students, while the remainder were contributed by Surdeen Equipment and Trucking, Old Harbour Radiology Centre, and Stratford Consulting Services.
"This is a marvellous move, I feel great, it is so good to see what is happening for the students today," said 44-year-old resident Sachonie Bedward. Her son, Shemar Bedward, a grade 10 student at Innswood High, was among the beneficiaries.
Christmas coming early
"To tell you the truth, I couldn't afford one for him. He was having a hard time doing his classes online without one, so words cannot express how grateful we are. This is Christmas coming early for us," she said.
Bedward, who is a vendor at Old Habour Primary School, said the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected her family's earnings as her husband does not have regular employment.
Kayon Bell, 31, was fortunate to get tablets for her two children -- Trevor Parks, 10, and Trevonique Parks, six, who both attend Old Harbour Primary.
"They had two tablets before and they got smashed, so they had to be using my phone to do classes and this was posing a problem because they are in two different grades," Bell said.
The mother told THE STAR that before COVID-19 she was doing fine in her hairdressing business. Her earnings have been significantly affected due to the economic impact of the pandemic. She said that her husband, who is a mechanic, has been left to carry much of the financial burden, and they have not been able to afford tablets or laptops for their children.
Meanwhile, Warmington said that the tablets were purchased from his Constituency Development Fund, a yearly $20 million sum from which all members of parliament benefit.
"Today we made an attempt to assist needy students in the constituency. The needs are great so I decided to put together a programme with 200 tablets and 50 laptops to help them with their online schooling," Warmington told THE STAR.
He said the initiative would not be a one-off move as he would be working with corporate partners to do a second hand out.