JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Just over 1,400 tablet computers are to be distributed to students of the Holy Trinity High school in Kingston under the government’s $1.4 billion Tablets In Schools pilot programme.
  • To be undertaken over the next three days, the exercise will see all students enrolled at the school receiving their own personal devices.
  • Since September, some 4,000 tablet computers have been distributed under the project, which is being spearheaded by MSTEM, through E-Learning Jamaica, in collaboration with the Education Ministry and the Universal Service Fund (USF).

Just over 1,400 tablet computers are to be distributed to students of the Holy Trinity High school in Kingston under the government’s $1.4 billion Tablets In Schools pilot programme.

To be undertaken over the next three days, the exercise will see all students enrolled at the school receiving their own personal devices.

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM), Hon. Phillip Paulwell and Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, participated in the distribution of the first batch of tablets during a ceremony at the school’s George Headley Drive, on Monday, November 10.

Since September, some 4,000 tablet computers have been distributed under the project, which is being spearheaded by MSTEM, through E-Learning Jamaica, in collaboration with the Education Ministry and the Universal Service Fund (USF).

The one-year pilot is being implemented in 38 educational institutions and will benefit 24,000 students and 1,200 teachers in six pre-primary schools, 13 primary schools, five all age and junior high schools, 12 high schools,  one teacher’s college, and one special education institution.

Minister Paulwell told the students that in selecting Holy Trinity High as one of the pilot schools, “we have placed our faith in you,” despite what he said is the perceived risk of theft and improper care, due to the school being located in a community deemed marginalized.

“I know I can rely on Holy Trinity to ensure that when we do stocktaking next year, we can account for all just under 2,000 tablets among students and staff,” he said.

The Minister said he is aware students of the institution understand how important the project is to enhancing their learning capabilities, and implored them to play their part in ensuring that the pilot is a success.

Rev.  Thwaites, who is also Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, reminded the students that the tablets “are not toys,” but expensive pieces of technology “which can open to you the gateways of learning in ways that you could never understand.”

“The tablets put you on an equal footing with any school anywhere in the world as far as the ability to source knowledge is concerned,” he said.

Rev. Thwaites further urged the students to use the tablets to advance their learning and encouraged parents to become digitally competent as well.

The initiative also involves the distribution of computers and multimedia devices, including interactive white-boards/projectors, scanners, 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, Tablets in Schools will be rolled out across the island, targeting 600,000 students and teachers.