Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, is appealing to school administrators to allow students full access to computers that have been placed in schools.
He urged them not to let their desire to preserve the equipment get in the way of students fully utilising them.
Speaking at the handing over of the final batch of computers to 10 schools under LIME’s Computers for Schools Programme today (December 10) at the Hilton Kingston, Mr. Holness said that while many schools have been receiving computers under various initiatives, access to them is still being restricted.
“In some institutions the technology and the computers are sometimes viewed with such reverence and veneration that they are sometimes locked up and access is sometimes restricted…because we don’t know if we are going to get another set of computers, we try to care these computers,” he stated.
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness (right), and Country Manager for LIME, Geoff Houston, have a quick word during the closing ceremony for LIME’s Computers for Schools programme today (December 10) at the Hilton Kingston. A total of 1,090 computers were donated to 110 schools under the programme, with the final batch of 10 schools receiving equipment and Internet grants today.
Mr. Holness shared that the Ministry is working to change the mindset of principals and teachers so that they will allow students to access the technology as much as possible.
He noted, however, that even as children are given access to computers and the Internet, their critical thinking skills must be nurtured so they are able to properly filter the information available on the Internet.
The Education Minister pointed out that while the e-Learning Project is helping with access issues in secondary schools, there is no such policy at the primary school level to inform the way information communication technologies (ICT) are used. He said one solution being promoted by the Ministry is the concept of the enrichment centre, which allows instructors to use technology in the teaching process.
The Computers for Schools Programme was launched in 2006 by LIME in collaboration with the non-government organisation, ‘Teens for Technology’. Under the initiative, 1,090 computers and free high-speed Internet service have been provided to 110 educational institutions across Jamaica at a cost of $10.2 million.
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness (right), points out features on the computer keyboard to grade one student of St. Richard’s Primary School, Mathew Sinclair (2nd right), while Country Manager of LIME, Geoff Houston (left) and Deputy Chairperson for the LIME Foundation, Camille Facey (centre), interact with grade five student, Azaria Wray. Occasion was the closing ceremony for LIME’s Computers for Schools programme today (December 10) at the Hilton Kingston. A total of 1,090 computers were donated to 110 schools under the programme, with the final batch of 10 schools receiving equipment and Internet grants today.
Targeted were institutions which had little or no access to ICT. Except for two schools, all received 10 computers, allowing them to set up laboratories and incorporate computer courses and computer-based learning into their curricula.
Minister Holness informed that the Ministry will be inspecting the schools, which have benefitted under the LIME project “to see the quality and state and what needs to be repaired and what new can be done and we will be establishing in those schools, very rapidly, enrichment centres.”
LIME’s Country Manager, Geoff Houston, in his brief remarks, encouraged the students and teachers of all the schools that have received computers to take full advantage of the equipment provided.