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"Strengthening Literacy Through Technology"

bmobile donated 20 refurbished desktop computers to ARROW (Aural, Read, Respond, Oral, Write) Foundation on Wednesday 20th June, 2018.

Equipped with ARROW’s special learning programme, the computers, were installed at the Couva South Government Primary School in an effort to elevate students’ literacy through technology.

Marsha Caballero, VP, Corporate Communications, TSTT expressed pleasure to once again be a part of this project, having assisted with funding the actual intervention of the programme a few years prior.

“By presenting ARROW with these computers, we are ensuring that kids learn through technology and are provided with newer and more collective ways of educating themselves. As a leading communications provider, our aim is to keep abreast of the learning technologies and we are continuously seeking innovative ways of grooming Trinidad and Tobago’s future leaders. Through the use of these computers and ARROW’s software, these students are bound to improve the literacy and better prepare themselves for success.”

Students of the Couva South Primary School however, were previously introduced to the ARROW Literacy Programme in 2017 and are now in Phase Two. At this stage, teachers are being trained to load and operate the programme for its use over a three-year period.

At the Couva-based institution, three Standard Four students – Annalee Ramcharitar, T’shawn Seales and Jared Barran – displayed their literacy skills through the use of the unique software. Having read and spelt for the programme while it interactively responded, the kids were all smiles and listened attentively.

“I like that it reads and spells along with us. It makes learning a lot more fun. Using the computer to learn is much cooler than just sitting in class all the time,” said Barran.

“The ARROW programme has helped me to improve on my Language Arts and Creative Writing skills. And we’re happy to have more computers with the programme to help us in our school work,” added Seales.

Principal of Couva South, Vidyawatee Lalla-Ramsammy, welcomed the bmobile’s five-computer contribution partnered with ARROW’s literacy programme.

“Couva South Government School was the first primary school that was fortunate enough to have a pilot project done. Last year, the kids had to bring in their laptops but this time around, thankfully, bmobile presented ARROW with desktops, who installed the programme and brought it to the school. It’s a great benefit and a programme that any school will welcome because it boosts the student’s self-esteem by learning through technology. It’s a different way of teaching and learning and the children enjoy it,” stated the head administrator.

Chris Bonterre, one of three directors at ARROW, revealed that the software is indeed revolutionary. He believes that it’s an alternative but exciting way to assist remedial and even advanced kids to learn faster.

“ARROW finds out where the weaknesses lie and allocates exercises only for those areas in the English language,” Bonterre explained. “It’s individualised and it’s a system that is moving away from the traditional chalk and talk methods and textbooks. If a child can read, spell, focus and is full of self esteem, 11-year olds can enter secondary schools confidently. We have an issue here with literacy and it needs to be addressed early. Students who learn the basics of reading early are quite often able to function later on life in any field. We’re not simply helping children to read and spell, we’re nation building.”

The bmobile-sponsored computers will also be presented to Icacos and Mayaro Government Primary Schools respectively, while the remainder will be installed at ARROW’s headquarters in Port-of-Spain where additional classes will be conducted during the week and on Saturdays.

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