JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government has spent $114 million for the provision of electronic content on the tablet computers, under the Tablets in Schools pilot programme.
  • Content is available for the subject areas of Mathematics, English Language, and the Sciences from the lower primary to the secondary level.
  • The process used in selecting the five local and four overseas content suppliers has been transparent and every effort has been made to ensure cost effective delivery.

The Government has spent $114 million for the provision of electronic content on the tablet computers, under the Tablets in Schools pilot programme.

Content is available for the subject areas of Mathematics, English Language, and the Sciences from the lower primary to the secondary level.

This was disclosed by Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, during a $76 million contract signing ceremony with members of the local and international publishing fraternity for the supply of additional electronic content on the devices.

The signing took place on Wednesday, November 12, at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica building, in New Kingston.

“The contracts being signed are for the purchase and satisfactory delivery of content for the Tablets in School Project and includes publication in e-book form as well as web-based resource material,” the Minister said.

He informed that the process used in selecting the five local and four overseas content suppliers has been transparent and every effort has been made to ensure cost effective delivery.

“The content and general uses of the computer tablets are in tandem with the curriculum approved by the Ministry of Education and as far as possible, local books that are available electronically and satisfies the Ministry’s criteria, have been considered,” he said.

The Minister noted that through the use of this critical aid, the educational landscape in the country is being transformed.

In his remarks, Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, said the ultimate objective is to ensure that the new curriculum, which is being developed, will be available by virtual means.

“This is not a substitute or disrespect for books, but it is to centrally locate the future of education and a very significant element of it is in the realm of virtual learning,” he said.

Distribution of computer tablets to schools forms part of the Government’s $1.4 billion Tablets in Schools pilot programme.

The one-year pilot will be carried out in 38 educational institutions and will see the distribution of tablets to benefit 24,000 students and 1,200 teachers in six pre-primary, 13 primary, five all age and junior high, and 12 high schools; one teacher’s college; and one special education institution.

The pilot programme, being implemented by E-Learning Jamaica Limited, also involves the distribution of computers and multimedia devices, including interactive white-boards/projectors, scanners and printers to pre-primary and primary schools. This is in addition to the installation of Wi-Fi at all 38 educational institutions.

Following a review of the pilot, the programme will be rolled out across the island, to benefit 600,000 students and teachers.