Measures in Place to Protect Tablet Computers

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, assists a student of Alpha Infant School, as she browses a tablet computer at a ceremony, held today (March 11), at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) auditorium, for the signing of contracts with four service providers, for the pilot of the Tablets in Schools project. Alpha Infant School is one of the beneficiary institutions of the pilot project, which will be rolled out in 38 schools for the 2014 academic year.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, has assured that measures are in place to protect the tablet computers that will be disseminated under the Tablets in Schools pilot, against theft and misuse.
  • Mr. Paulwell pointed out that extensive training has been carried out, involving not only teachers and students, but also parents and the wider community, to ensure that everyone has a stake in policing the project.
  • Following a review of the pilot, Tablets in Schools will be rolled out across the island, targeting 600,000 students and teachers.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, has assured that measures are in place to protect the tablet computers that will be disseminated under the Tablets in Schools pilot, against theft and misuse.

Speaking at the signing of contracts totalling $800 million, with four technological solution providers, today (March 11), in Kingston, the Minister said that, “in developing this project, we have been very careful to view similar projects elsewhere… and we have carefully studied the pitfalls, and observed some of the successes.”

He said while the project is not without risk, the government will, as far as possible, seek to prevent some of the possible pitfalls. “We are never going to move this country forward, if we are not bold enough to take risks,” the Minister emphasized.

As outlined by representatives of the providers at the signing, each tablet is accompanied by technology, which enables tracking and disabling of the device.

Mr. Paulwell  pointed out that  extensive training has been carried out, involving not only teachers and students, but also parents and the wider community, to ensure that everyone has a stake in policing the project.

“We believe that there is sufficient content in this country that we can utilize. We intend to transform the way we receive and manipulate information…it is to educate Jamaicans better (and) to secure growth and development, and employment for our people,” he said.

Each of the pilot schools and institutions will be equipped with fast speed broadband access. “Also, we are going to have enough capacity in (these) schools to enable persons to bring their own devices…and access this world of information,” Minister Paulwell told the gathering.

He informed that the project will be accompanied by a massive public education campaign, involving popular entertainers. Device and service providers include: Digicel Jamaica (5,500 tablets); Innovative Corporate Solutions (10,500 tablets), Productive Business Solutions (5,500 tablets); and GeoTech Vision Enterprises Limited (5,500 tablets).

The contracts include a range of supplies, including devices, accessories, and device management solutions and services, such as tracking and content control. The pilot involves 38 learning institutions, which will be equipped with tablet computers for the upcoming academic year.

It will be administered in 13 primary schools, six all age and junior high schools, 11 high schools, six infant departments,  one teacher’s college, and one special education institution. The initiative will, in the first instance, involve 728 teachers.

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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