The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) administration has distributed over 3000 laptop computers to form two students at secondary schools.
Education Minister Shawn Edward described the development as historic and momentous.
He recalled that before the July 26, 2021, general elections, the SLP committed to reinstating the laptop programme on the campaign trail.
“We are delivering on that promise,” Edward declared.
The Dennery North MP disclosed that the government had spent more than two million dollars providing laptops to secondary school students.
“In a few months time by the commencement of the ensuing academic year we’re looking to roll out another programme that will take care of the current first formers who will be second formers and the grade sixes will become first formers in September. So we are pretty much on target with our delivery,” the Minister explained.
“It really is another demonstration of our appreciation for the role ICT plays in education,” Edward noted.
He stated that the students did not receive laptops because the devices are fashionable but because they represent a critical instructional tool.
And he said officials had urged the students to take care of the devices.
“It is important that we do not leave any child behind and it is for that reason that we will go beyond the call of duty if needs be to ensure that every child is equipped with a device,” Edward asserted.
“We are working on content at the moment – that is critical. It is one thing to have the device, but the requisite content is equally important,” the Minister expressed.
In addition, he observed that connectivity was important.
In this regard, Edward said to complement the islandwide WiFi programme that started many years ago, the Minister responsible for telecommunications has been able to broker an agreement with the two service providers, Flow and Digicel.
Under the agreement, over 5,000 households will benefit from bundle packages granting internet and digital services to families that otherwise would not have been able to access them.
“It’s a work in progress, but I am very happy with where we are at,” Edward declared.