Telecoms provider Flow has donated $25,000 to the Ministry of Education to undertake internet furnishing at three schools – Ianthe Pratt Primary in Providenciales, and Charles Hubert James Primary and the Raymond Gardiner High School in North Caicos.
The donation, courtesy of CW Charitable Foundation, will assist the schools to have full internet connectivity that will bolster, among other things, e-learning and classroom connection on the Microsoft 360 Account - the recommended government education platform.
Government has started connections to classroom blocks across the Turks and Caicos Islands, with some schools already been outfitted, and some left to go. To this end, Flow has climbed on board targeting those three schools.
E.J. Grant, Education Officer responsible for Communication and Information Technology, stated that with Flow’s help, there will be physical connection to the schools that the company is sponsoring, which will give all students internet access.
He said the gesture came at a good time, especially for Ianthe Pratt, when the school has installed an early childhood block.
“…And that is very important because our teachers do virtual teaching even though the students are in school. They do have access to a virtual platform where they can set assignments for students to do while they are in class on their devices.
“With Flow’s help, that connection is greatly needed, especially with the new early childhood block at this particular school, there’s no hard connection so Flow is going to now get that hard connection to that block which would be great for teachers and students,” Grant said.
He said the undertakings at all the schools should complete by January, as a contractor has already been identified.
“At least one of the schools will be ready for January. Ianthe Pratt, right now, should be ready for January,” he said.
Grant pointed out that this was not the first time that Flow was donating to education, stating that such gesture travels way back.
“All our schools have in some way benefitted from Flow’s donations. And I just want to say thank you – especially to Ms. Missick from Flow and Mr. Hilaire. It just so happens that while I was in the process of getting a contract or looking at vendors to see what they would possibly charge us to do the work here at this institution I got a call from Mr. Hilaire saying, ‘Mr. Grant, we’re in the process of doing something and we want to know if you have anything and I was like –perfect timing.’ So we’re very grateful to them indeed,” Grant stated.
Joanne Missick, Country Manager for Flow TCI, stated that for this year the company has embarked on a mission of ‘Building Resilient Communities’.
“With that being said, we decided to donate the funds to the schools to gain access (to internet) and it’s a value of $25,000 that will assist the Hubert James Primary, Ianthe Pratt Primary as well as Raymond Gardiner High. We’re happy to do this and, we already know what our mission is for next year,” Missick said.
She added: “We’re going to continue this project to ensure that students have access especially in today’s world where technology and digitization is key that we do this so I’m happy to be doing this today with our schools.”
Darron Hilaire, Flow’s Head of Marketing and representing CW Charitable Foundation, stated that the foundation started in response to hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, as a way to bring relief to the region.
“Some of the first projects we were able to do was also assisting schools to the sum of some $130,000 in ICT equipment that were shared between Oseta Jolly, outfitting their computer lab and then Eliza Simons in Grand Turk, outfitting their computer lab, so that undertaking happened just about 2 years ago now,” Hilaire said.
“So this is another phase as we sort of try to embody the company’s mission…just to continue to provide access,” he continued.
He echoed Missick’s statement that the CW Foundation has since changed its focus to building resilient communities and enabling access to communities.
“This is one of the ways we are physically doing that across these three schools in this phase to the sum of $25,000 and it’s something we will continue to do and will along with the ministry continue to connect all schools in the Turks and Caicos Islands and bring them up to the speed and the capacity that they need to function as an e-environment for teaching and for learning and bring it up to world standards.
Hilaire reminded that Flow has tangibly been supporting the education long before its new name, having donated over $500,000 in scholarships, and recently bankrolled $130,000 in ICT equipment.