The National Gas Company (NGC) group has pledged $2 million in laptops and tablets to the Ministry of Education’s Adopt-a-School Initiative. The announcement was made at a hand-over ceremony at Education Towers, Port of Spain, in recognition of World Children’s Day on Friday.
NGC president Mark Loquan said the group – comprising of NGC, National Energy, Phoenix Park Gas Processes Ltd, NGC CNG Company Ltd and La Brea Industrial Development Company Ltd (Labidco) – will procure the laptops for distribution to primary and secondary schools in proximity to the companies and, in some cases, other rural areas.
He said the group expects to receive the devices in the short term, but in the interim, Labidco has been offering photocopy support to schools in its fenceline community of La Brea.
“This year has been a trying one for businesses across the world,” he said. “The NGC group was not immune to market challenges.
“Our financial position is such that we must tread very carefully and invest with prudence in the causes that matter most and offer the greatest returns. For us, this is one such cause,” said Loquan. The NGC group is making the donation even as it recently announced a more than $300 million loss for the first half of 2020.
At the event, Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said despite the challenges, the country should celebrate children and support them. “It is a wonderful thing on World Children’s Day to be celebrating the input of corporate TT, once again, into the lives of this our most precious resource… No child left behind in the 2020 version means no child left offline.”
Gadsby-Dolly said during the ongoing national education consultations, the topic of blended learning and curriculum reform to navigate online platforms was addressed.
“Transformation in the education sector is happening in TT and across the world. Things will not be the same, so we must prepare teachers, parents and students to navigate the system,” she said.