65,000 tablet computers for teachers and students this fiscal year – Williams

65,000 tablet computers for teachers and students this fiscal year – Williams

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams says the distribution of 65,000 tablet computers to teachers and students will be completed in this fiscal year.

Williams, who was speaking at the handover of 32 tablets to educators at Hope Valley Experimental School in Kingston yesterday, said the initiative falls under the Government's 'Tablets in Schools Project'.

The programme aims to provide students, teachers and other stakeholders with the necessary facilities to access technology.

The minister said that e-Learning Jamaica (e-Ljam) will complete the distribution of 25,000 tablets under the Tablets for Teachers Programme as well as 40,000 tablets under the Tablets in Infant and Primary Schools Programme, during this financial year.

“Today, we make the connections. Today, we inch one step closer to imagining a new Jamaica,” she said.

She also noted that her vision is that all Jamaicans will have access to the Internet and that “all schools will be equipped with the technologies to not just facilitate learning but to also foster innovation and a solid science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education for students.”

“As we work to build a digital society, information and communications technology (ICT); science, technology and innovation will be crucial pillars in this regard. Our educators, therefore, are integral partners to this process. It is my hope that [these tablet computers] will make your classrooms a richer environment, which will cater to the needs of the 21st century learner,” she said.

Meanwhile, Williams said the ministry is committed to strengthening the technological capacity and infrastructure.

“Currently, with an Internet penetration rate of approximately 45 per cent, so many of our students in rural Jamaica or inner cities lack access to the Internet and technological devices, which adversely affects their education, especially at a time when they have to log on to an online platform for classes,” she said.

According to Williams, the rollout of the devices will assist in bridging the digital divide and create a digitally inclusive society where no one gets left behind.

“In the digital age, we cannot allow pandemics to disrupt the business of education. The future of our children is too important to not put mechanisms in place to facilitate remote learning,” she added.

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