Government will be spending close to US$12 million for the implementation of the promised Tablets in secondary schools.
Speaking at a recent post-Cabinet press briefing at the Ministerial Complex in the Botanical Gardens, Minister of State for ICT, Alvin Da Breo told reporters that the one-year old New National Party (NNP) government is moving ahead with plan to get the Tablets for use by the students.
“The cost of a tablet will be around US $300 for the ones that we would like to have in the schools …”, he said.
According to Minister Da Breo, the actual cost of the Tablets will depend on the amount of students who will be get one from government.
“We have received some quotes on having the internet connectivity because with the Tablet you have to have internet connection and we’re looking at those costs because probably government might have to embark on partnering with a provider so that we could build a broadband network because it will not be feasible to pay the provider for every child,” he said.
Government has earmarked a budget of EC$12 million to cover the Tablet project.
Minister Dabreo disclosed that after attending the Commonwealth Ministers for ICT forum in London recently, some countries have pledged their support to working along with Grenada to ensure that everything went smoothly.
He said the first area of business will be to train teachers to successfully implements the Tablet programme.
“If the teachers are not trained, then the students will not get the training that they need and there are some teachers that are very resistive to change and new technology so we have to get them on board and show them the benefits,” he remarked.
Dabreo said that a pilot project will start soon in one of the nation’s schools to ensure progress is being made and to create the conditions to
move onto other schools.
He added that the implementation of the Tablet System will ensure that students are never left behind in the school system.
“The future is the Internet and we are in the digital age. When I was going to school if I had to do any research I had to find somebody with an encyclopedia in which I would be able to do that and it would take you a very long time to really do that assignment but today you know that you could go online and in basically a minute search any topic that you want and have accurate information,” he said.
“That would speed up your time in doing your research or getting educational material available and you also have a wider amount of information because the more information you have the better able you’ll be to make a decision, so the tablet will provide you with a lot of educational materials at your fingertips”, he added.
The government minister stated that students will be allowed to take the tablets home and in an effort to ensure its safety “it will have a tracking device built into it in case of theft and other related issues.
“…So that wherever it is, we will be able to find it. If it’s lost, if it’s stolen, we will be able to recover it and it will also have in it a built in security systems and firewalls that would block off any sites that is not of an educational benefit”, Da Breo said.