The municipality of Trujillo Alto today opened an area at the Rubén Zayas Montañez Coliseum to offer free high-speed internet services and other technological resources to students, so they can take their classes online.
However, to the regret and frustration of the employees behind the Trujillo Alto Conecta initiative, not a single student had come in the morning to benefit from everything that was created to assist them.
According to Mayor José Luis Cruz, the reception area for visitors -students and accompanying adults- has strict security protocols, which include the mandatory use of a mask, distance between the 40 tables set up inside the coliseum, registration of temperature at the entrance, as well as disinfection after use of each table and chairs and bathrooms, as well as the installation in general.
Cruz highlighted the well-known situation suffered by some students, both from public and private schools, who do not have access to the internet or their internet does not have enough speed, at a time when, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Education is conducting virtual classes via the internet or through other mechanisms that require the use of technology to send and receive messages between teachers and students through emails.
Although he could not offer specific figures on how many students could be currently without a computer, without internet access or without adequate speed, he estimates that there are a considerable number in that situation throughout the neighborhoods of the municipality. He added that, as far as he was aware, in Trujillo Alto the DE had not yet distributed the computers that it is expected to deliver to each student.
“We facilitate this coliseum, with broadband, so that students can come here, totally safe, complying with all the regulations and regulations that a closed area with air conditioning requires, with enough spaces, there are 40 tables ready to receive students”, the mayor commented, adding that they would also enable other areas of the coliseum in addition to the central space, until reaching about 100 people, which is 10% of the capacity of the place.
“It’s so they (students) can come here and do their assignments, totally free. We already have broadband, 100 megabytes, fiber optics, which is quite durable. We are waiting, with the staff already trained, ready, waiting for the students to come, so that they can do their assignments here and solve any situation or anything that the Department of Education requires of them, “added Cruz.
He stressed that an area was also set up with a multipurpose machine to be able to scan or print documents, in addition to making photocopies. In that area they can also communicate with the teacher or the school to send or receive information.
The mayor clarified that, although the initiative’s essential objective is to serve the students of Trujillo Alto, they will not deny entry and use to a student from another municipality.
Likewise, if someone who is not a student requires the use of the internet for their work, they will be allowed to use the free service installed in the coliseum.
“The bread of education has no municipal borders. That they arrive, that they will be well cared for. We want it to be for the people of our town, but they can also come (from other towns). And not just students. A person who requires his job and does not have internet at home can come for an hour or two, and sit in a corner and receive services, because he is also part … of the town of Trujillo Alto, “he said.
Cruz said that similar services will soon open in the municipality’s playground, for those who prefer an open area. In fact, you can also use the service of the coliseum in its surroundings, without having to go inside.
Cruz explained that, in the case of students under 12 years of age, they will be required to come with a companion, which is why the tables have two chairs, as well as a protection kit. If you come with more than one companion, the other person must wait outside. Students over 12 years old can arrive alone. The space is also available for university students.
Trujillo Alto Conecta’s hours of operation are from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
As part of the offer, in addition to security, they will be supporting technology and library employees, “who already have experience working with children.”