Member of Parliament for St Peter, Asot Michael, is calling on the government to urgently address connectivity issues as remote learning continues for most of the nation’s students.
Michael said there is no reason for these issues to still be plaguing the country.
“The broadband and internet is always dropping out. The Prime Minister had revealed that we may even buy Cable and Wireless and buy Digicel for how much millions; we going to do underwater cable and so on and all that is great, but let us get the basics right first. I sat in Cabinet nearly four-and- a-half years ago with you pleading and pleading and pleading with the minister of APUA, Sir Robin [Yearwood] about the improvement to broadband and I thought that we had gone beyond that. We in 2021,” Michael said.
He further stressed the importance of reliable internet and is now calling on the Minister of Education to address the issue of access to devices for students.
“How are we going to be so modern, passing all this legislation and we can’t have proper reliable consistent internet in the country. All the millions of dollars we investing in fiber optic and we pumping into APUA, the loan we borrowed from FICB, what is going on?” Michael asked.
“Why do parents have to have such a problem? It is not just in my constituency, it’s all over the country. Hundreds and hundreds of WhatsApp messages I am getting every single week asking Mr. Michael, please can I get a laptop or a tablet because we go to the Ministry of Education, we go to the Board of Education and there’s so much bureaucracy. Fill out this, bring back this form and they cannot get the tablet. Why are the tablets not distributed in the schools and then taken to the parents? I do not understand what the problem is. The government has so many other resources to do so many other things and if the students cannot attend face-to-face classes, then they must be given the necessary tools and resources to do their classes,” he added.
Meanwhile, Michael is calling on Prime Minister Gaston Browne to be more statesmanlike, especially on the issue of vaccines and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“All I am saying, there is a way to do things. There ‘s a way to win people. There’s a way to convince people. You are the leader. You have to do it responsibly and at all times act with maturity. Don’t lose your cool. Don’t be Asot Michael sometimes, be the prime minister that the people of this country elected. No matter how they criticise you, no matter if they call you ‘Antichrist,’ no matter all the world of defamation they may say about you, we are in a pandemic, you have to rise above that to win the minds and souls of the elderly, the middle-classed, the rich, the poor, the young,” he added.