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Community Last Updated: Jul 29, 2020 - 10:53:24 AM

Rotary assists hurricane-affected BTVI students
By Hadassah Deleveaux
Jul 29, 2020 - 10:48:15 AM

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The Rotary Bahamas Disaster Relief (RBDR) fund, on behalf of the nine clubs of District 7020, made a donation to the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) to provide tablets to assist students who were evacuated from Abaco and Grand Bahama following hurricane Dorian. Shown from left to right are Chairman of the RBDR, Bryan Knowles; BTVI’s Associate Vice President of Fund Development, Alicia Thompson and President, Dr. Robert W. Robertson. Photo: Del-LaMarr Davis

The nine Bahamas Rotary clubs in District 7020, have donated $20,000 to the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) to provide tablets to assist students evacuated from Abaco and Grand Bahama in the wake of hurricane Dorian.

The presentation was made by the Rotary Bahamas Disaster Relief (RBDR) on behalf of the District 7020 Rotary Clubs, which include Abaco, East Nassau, Eleuthera, Nassau, Nassau Sunrise, New Providence, Old Fort, South-East and West Nassau.

Chairman of the RBDR, Bryan Knowles, said the donation aligns with Rotary’s ‘Service Above Self’ motto.

“The donation was made to the BTVI, Information Technology (IT) department because that was where the need was identified. Our service objective, in this regard, is to assist those who were unfavourably impacted by Hurricane Dorian. In this case, evacuated students.  It also aligns with one of our areas of focus: supporting education,” explained Mr. Knowles.

“The motto embraces who we and who our generous donors and partners are. We choose, through selfless service, through generous, targeted giving, to create positive, lasting change in our communities,” he stated.

Meanwhile, BTVI’s Dean of Information Technology and Distance Learning, Anthony Ramtulla, said the “incredible donation,” only serves to enhance the technical capabilities of students.

“They now have a head start to advance in their studies.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic or other difficulties, many students are not able to acquire their own devices, so this donation is very timely,” said Mr. Ramtulla.

Worldwide, there has been a transition from a traditional classroom to an online setting with synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Mr. Ramtulla noted that it is imperative that today’s students become accustomed to online platforms to complete their schooling. 

“With the use of videoconferencing software and online learning management systems in today’s virtual classrooms, students will familiarize themselves with these implements using their new computer systems while taking a more blended approach to learning. They will also have little to no excuse for getting work done,” he underscored.

BTVI’s President, Dr. Robert W. Robertson, added that students are increasingly using technology to advance their training and ensure they are career-ready.

“The computers are critical to meet that goal. The impact of Hurricane Dorian has illustrated the importance of technology and COVID-19 has reinforced that we must be prepared for the digital economy,” stated Dr. Robertson.

Dr. Robertson expressed gratitude for Rotary’s support in helping BTVI to become a smart campus, adding that technology will be used to help bridge the skills gap in The Bahamas.

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