Preparation for tablets in schools progressing – Technology Ministry

JulianRobinson-1KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Government is reporting that it has undertaken a number of preparatory activities, as it readies for the roll out of the J$1.4 billion Tablets in Schools pilot project for the new academic year.

State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Julian Robinson, in his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 11 said that schools and parents have been sensitised in the use and care of tablets; a Tablet in Schools Policy Manual has been developed; and teachers have been trained in basic Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skills.

He added that there has been customised training for teachers on how to utilise tablets in teaching; suitable educational applications to be used on the tablets have been identified; and a Public Education and Awareness Campaign has been launched.

In addition, contracts totalling J$800 million have been signed with four service providers for the supply of the tablets. The contracts also include a range of supplies, including devices, accessories, and device management solutions and services, such as tracking and content control.

The State Minister further noted that the Government is currently negotiating with publishers for the pre-loading of tablets with available e-books.

The one-year pilot will be implemented in 38 educational institutions and will see the distribution of tablets to benefit 24,000 students and 1,200 teachers in six pre-primary schools, 13 primary schools, five all age and junior high schools, 12 high schools, one teacher’s college, and one special education institution.

The initiative also involves the distribution of computers and multimedia devices, including interactive white-boards/projectors, scanners, printers to pre-primary and primary schools. This is in addition to the installation of Wi-Fi at all 38 educational institutions.

Following a review of the pilot, Tablets in Schools will be rolled out across the island, targeting 600,000 students and teachers.

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