by Jacques Hinkson-Compton, Government Information Service
At the most recent sitting of the House of Assembly, Minister for Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Hon. Shawn Edward, lamented the effect of COVID-19 on the education system, but expressed elation for the future of the sector.
“While not underplaying the significance of the face-to-face interactions and experiences this government recognizes the integration of ICT in education as an important tool in positioning our citizens to compete with the rest of the world in this technologically driven era. For this reason, the government took the decision to immediately reinstate the one laptop per child program.”
The Government of Saint Lucia will focus on content development aligned with the school’s curriculum.
Saint Lucia will also join the rest of the OECS to construct a content depository accessible to all students.
“The integration of ICT, Information and Communications Technology in education is not only about the distribution of devices,” Minister Edward said. “The Ministry of Education continues to the commissioning of SMART classrooms throughout the country. These classrooms will ensure a more diverse, interactive and inclusive education system, and facilitates recorded classes where students will be able to go over lessons and re-engage content, thereby reinforcing concepts. They will also have livestreaming capabilities, so a child who is unwell or not physically present at school will be able to join virtually.”
To date five classrooms have been retrofitted with the necessary equipment, courtesy of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
Several other initiatives have been proposed for the coming months. These include the conversion of 20 classrooms into SMART classrooms and collaborative effort between the Government of Saint Lucia and Telecommunications partners to provide broadband accessibility to 5000 vulnerable households at an affordable rate.