Basic School Students to Get Tablet Computers

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell (right), engages students from the Shortwood United Basic School with a tablet computer, at the re-launch of the Grant’s Pen Cyber Club, on February 19.

Story Highlights

  • Minister Paulwell has announced that the tablet computer project, originally earmarked for primary and high schools, will now be extended to basic schools.
  • The Minister pointed out that the tablet project will be fully in place by the end of the school year.
  • He emphasized that it will be cost effective, and the parents will not be required to continue the purchasing of so many books for the children.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, has announced that the tablet computer project, originally earmarked for primary and high schools, will now be extended to basic schools.

“Over 400,000 students will have their own individual device, starting with the pilot project,” the Minister said, while delivering the keynote address at the re-launch of the Grant’s Pen Cyber Club, in Kingston, on February 19.

The Minister pointed out that the tablet project will be fully in place by the end of the school year, and while all the computers will be allocated to the students, free of cost, in the future, part payment will be required from parents.

He emphasized that it will be cost effective, and the parents will not be required to continue the purchasing of so many books for the children, as the contents will be available on the tablets.

“Initially, it is going to be fully funded by the Government, but eventually there will be a cost sharing component, to enable us to roll out the project much more quickly than the four years we had envisioned,” Mr. Paulwell said.

He explained that it is the Government’s position to expose children at an early age to computers. “We believe that you have to (provide) the youngsters, at the earliest stage in their educational development, with access to the technology,” the Minister added.

The Grant’s Pen Cyber Club was first launched five years ago by telecommunications provider, LIME. The equipment became obsolete over time, and the Universal Service Fund (USF) has provided nine computers, and a printer, at a cost of $2 million. LIME will continue to provide Internet to the facility.

The club is located at 35 Grant’s Pen Road, where the police station and other facilities are housed.

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