The Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU) and FLOW have teamed up together to assist a form five student of the Anglican High School (AHS) to put her in a better position to handle her CXCs and other school projects through the use of a laptop and free Internet service.
Carmella Morain is the recipient of an award from the Curtis Stewart Memorial Scholarship fund, which has been in operation for the past 20 years.
A handing over ceremony was held on Tuesday at TAWU House on H.A. Blaize Street to hand over the laptop to the student.
Curtis Stewart, a past President of the TAWU, was one of those pioneers who took pride in assisting students.
The ceremony was addressed by General Secretary of the union, Bert Patterson who said that TAWU had been engaged in a free schoolbook programme prior to the one that was launched by the former congress government of Tillman Thomas between 2008 and 2013.
“Prior to Government’s initiative to give free schoolbooks, a programme, which I think, is now ended, the union in fact carried on that programme of giving kids of needy workers assistance with schools books for several years”, he said.
Describing the free school book scheme as ‘a revolving programme”, Patterson said that when the Thomas administration came into office, “we did donate several thousand dollars worth of books to the Government programme”
“…We still give uniforms to children of workers, we transferred the book programmes to uniforms to the IT areas which has become most important or as important as books for the purpose of education,” he remarked.
The 19-month old Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) has virtually scuttled the free school programme in favour of utilizing the funds in other areas such as giving the students an increase in bus fares to and from school.
Patterson disclosed that the laptop, which was presented to the recipient, was passed on from another student.
“On this occasion we are presenting a revolving laptop which is part of a revolving programme where once the students are through everything will be transferred to other students, particularly for the Form Five…”, he remarked.
He spoke of FLOW getting involved by providing the student with one-year free Internet service.
“…The student will be receiving a laptop to continue with her studies and FLOW will be (installing) the necessary service for Internet, which is a priority for education in these days,” he said.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator of Flow, Rockel Clement-George said this partnership between TAWU and her company has been going on for the past three years.
She said it is the belief of Flow that assisting young children with Internet service and with their education is extremely important.
“We know that the Internet right now is being used for many things, one of which is educational purposes and a lot of people are doing their studies and research online, and this is why we jumped on board… this will definitely benefit her when she is doing her research for SBAs and so forth,” Clement-George said.
The FLOW employee assured the student that she would have the best service on island.
“We definitely know that having this one year service will definitely benefit you in your studies in your last year of school and we really want you to take full advantage of this one year service. Everybody know that you will be using the fastest Internet speed on island, so you will not have to wait for any buffering (with) your projects or your research – everything will come up very quickly,” she said.
Carmella Morain was extremely grateful to both TAWU and FLOW for the assistance.
“As I have a lot of SBA’s coming up and I have to do a lot of research especially for the science subjects, it will benefit me greatly because I need the research and stuff to assist me because (although) (there are) books, that is not enough and the Internet has everything nowadays,” she told THE NEW TODAY newspaper.