ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Wednesday May 18, 2011 – Government, in partnership with telecommunications company LIME, has announced a new initiative that will provide every teacher in Antigua and Barbuda with a modern, high-speed laptop computer.
In addition, each teacher will receive at their homes, four months of free high-speed Internet and then at a significantly reduced rate for three years.
This new component of the Connect Antigua and Barbuda Initiative, “Technology for Education 20/20”, was announced yesterday by Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, on the observance of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.
The Technology for Education 20/20 initiative is slated to commence in September of this year and will directly empower over 1600 primary and secondary school teachers, both in public and private schools and will be administered by the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications, Science and Technology.
Prime Minister Spencer said the cost of this broadband connectivity, as well as the indoor customer premises equipment to access the Internet, are being absorbed by the Government.
All secondary schools, both private and public, will also become Wi-Fi enabled to allow them to become virtual hot spots. The costs associated with this Internet connectivity will be met by the Government.
“Our teachers will not be left behind. Our students will not be left behind. The ICT revolution has dramatically and positively impacted on the education landscape in Antigua and Barbuda,” Prime Minister Spencer said.
“We are transforming lives as we connect city and village schools and teachers to information and knowledge on the Internet. We are narrowing the gap that separates those with and without access to information and knowledge, thereby broadening opportunities for a better life.”
LIME’s Country Manager, Davidson Charles, said a laptop in the hands of all teachers speaks to empowerment and communication opportunities.
“LIME considers this project essential to the development of our communities. The Internet has revolutionized the way we study, communicate, shop, transact business and even entertain others. It is important that students and teachers become more aware of advancing technology,” he said. “ICTs in education are not transformative on their own.
Transformation requires teachers who can use technologies to improve student learning. The professional development of teachers in the areas of ICT integration is essential. Unless teachers/educators model effective use of technology in their own classrooms, it will not be possible to prepare a new generation of teachers who effectively use the new tools for teaching and learning,” he added.
Minister of Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications, Science and Technology, Dr. Edmond Mansoor said that as Antigua and Barbuda surges forward as a developing nation, public-private partnerships like the one developed with LIME are critical.
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