The American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) has launched a campaign to acquire laptops and tablets for students of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) , Mona, Jamaica, who are facing challenges accessing online classes, now mandatory due to COVID-19. This initiative is in close collaboration with the Alumni chapters of New York, Florida, and Washington DC.
The university shifted course delivery and the majority of its assessment instruments on line, effective April 14, 2020, after a 1-month break, in response to COVID-19 “Social Distancing” requirements mandated by the government of Jamaica. The University has also announced that there will be no face-to-face examinations this semester and they will instead use asynchronous assessment methods like coursework, take-home assignments and projects, during the new exam period June 15-July 3, 2020.
Ann-Marie Grant, Executive Director of AFUWI, noted that “these changes in the delivery of classes and programmes at The UWI, make it even more urgent that the students have laptops or tablets. Unfortunately, some of them simply cannot afford to purchase these items and since they are not able to access the facilities on campus or share with other students due to social distancing strictures, they are at a distinct disadvantage. “Miss Grant noted that approximately 2,000 students are in need of assistance and that The UWI had so far acquired 500 tablets and negotiated with the Government of Jamaica to have the UWI- related website zero-rated.
“Our Project is targeting the purchase 200 laptops and tablets which will be loaned to students for use now and through the exam period, then retrieved for use by the next generation of students. We are asking for donations of US$10.00 or more during the period April 20-May 20, 2020, to help these students achieve their dreams of a university degree “, she explained further.
Donations can be made via: