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Friday, August 19, 2022

NEW SCHOOL TERM BEGINS WITH NO LAPTOPS FOR STUDENTS

Following the disruption of schools across the globe, the government joined many other countries in announcing that digital learning would buffer traditional face to face learning as students and teachers adjusted to the ‘new normal’.

On May 5th a policy position was announced officially by Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves who said at the time:

“The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is in the process of purchasing 30-thousand Laptops for Students across the country”.

He said the Government will receive funding from additional sources to purchase the devices and that they have been in negotiations with a number of vendors and suppliers for the purchase of the Tablets.

In an earlier manifestation of the policy, in April, Gonsalves stated that as part of the stimulus package:

“In order to ensure that lack of digital access will not disadvantage students, the Recovery & Stimulus Package provides $4 million for the purchase of over 12,500 affordable “tablet” devices to access online educational content”.

However, to date, there has been no indication from the government when these laptops and tablets would arrive. Teachers and students had expected that they would have been received prior to the new school term.

The government had stated in its 2015 manifesto that it intended to, “Refresh the One-Laptop- Per-Student Programme” (p. 39).

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