Internet woes force mother to relocate her children

October 21, 2021
Cocoa Ridge resident Georgia Burrell laments the impact of poor Internet service in the community as well as slow sales at her bar, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cocoa Ridge resident Georgia Burrell laments the impact of poor Internet service in the community as well as slow sales at her bar, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fuelled by the drive to make sure her children have more opportunities than she did growing up, businesswoman Georgia Burrell made the difficult decision to send her children to stay with family members so they could participate in online school.

Burrell, who owns and operates a corner shop and bar in Cocoa Ridge district, Bellas Gate in St Catherine, knew that once schools were first closed to face-to-face interaction last March, she had to find a way for her children to continue their education.

After her 12-year-old daughter Chelsea battled with the unstable Internet at their home in the district and came out victorious in her PEP examinations, securing a pass to The Queen's School in St Andrew, Burrell said she had to make the difficult decision to send her somewhere so that she could actually participate in class.

"Mi daughter pass fi go Queen's but di Internet a gi har bay problem. Weh mi haffi do now, me affi send har dung a town, at ar fada at Old Harbour Road, to do the Internet class caah it cyah work up here," she said.

Most popular mode

Face-to-face classes have been disrupted since March and online classes are now the most popular mode of reaching students.

Burrell said that Chelsea has expressed a desire to be a surgeon while her older son, Diego, who is currently studying at the Distinction College, wants to be an engineer.

"Mi cyah make them gwaan up here so. She come up here weekend," she said referring to Chelsea "and she have homework and she couldn't get the homework fi done. The Internet just wouldn't guh!"

In spite of the many struggles she is facing, Burrell says her priority is to make sure her children get the opportunities in life she never got.

Burrell told THE STAR "You see mi daughter, she ave it like that. She say to me 'Mommy, I'm gonna be a surgical doctor' and when mi tell you she bright, she bright. Cause when you hear a child pass fi go Queens you supposed to know that she got it."

"You see me son now, him say him want to be a mechanical engineer. When it come to my kids dem, mi love me kids dem bad. Because me grow poor and me doe grow with a father love, suh me wah my kids dem to come and be something."

Burrell said that before the start of the pandemic in 2020, her bar used to be a lucrative business, but things have got so slow she can hardly pay her bills.

"Mi bar usually run good before the curfew hours. Men line up, wul heap a dem and mi have wul heap a other workers. Now nothing nah gwaan, mi hardly can pay me bills dem. If you notice mi have goods cause me stock me place dem, but nothing not even a move," she said.

"The other day JPS call me and tell me sey me fi pay the bill such and such a time and by mi go Old Harbour Road and come back dem lock it off," she said, referring to her power being disconnected.

"Mi cyah pay me insurance, a two month it due now. Mi cyah do nothing," Burrell said.

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