12,500 Acer notebook computers arrive from China
Front Page
June 6, 2014

12,500 Acer notebook computers arrive from China

Exciting times are ahead for secondary and post secondary school students and educators, with the arrival of 12,500 long-awaited notebook computers from China.

The shipment of Acer branded computers arrived at the Campden Park Container Port on Wednesday, where they were greeted by government and other officials,{{more}} including Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who described the arrival of the items as a “joyous,” “wonderful” day.

Gonsalves, revisiting the origins of the development, reminded those present at the port that St Vincent and the Grenadines had received a US $5 million grant from the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which was promised by late president Hugo Chavez.

He said that being aware that the grant was not enough to secure the notebooks, he approached Mustique resident Felix Dennis of Dennis Publishing, for his assistance in making the vision a reality.

“I said I want your team to work with my team in telecoms and in education to get the best specifications, so that your team can source the best laptop for us to fit the purpose….

“And they came to the conclusion that the Acer laptop would be ideal for the secondary school students and also for the post secondary school students….

“Dennis Publishing agreed to pay for the packaging and the shipping of the laptops… But not only that, their team negotiated with Microsoft to get free Microsoft software in these laptops indefinite in the life of the laptops, and in addition there is a lovely carrier bag for each of the laptops and Dennis Publishing put together an additional manual to assist…,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister also indicated that over the next few weeks, technical personnel from the Ministries of Education as well as Information Technology would be testing the notebooks with the assistance of persons engaged in the SET Programme, to ensure that all the computers were working and ready to be delivered to the students, which he anticipated would begin close to the end of June, and should take three to four weeks.

He said that it is his intention to have another 1,000 of the devices for the students and lecturers at the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, and this should be done in September.

“Our students here in St Vincent and the Grenadines, when you go to the marketplace, and when you go internationally, and when you go to work anywhere or any university overseas, you would not be left behind; you would be in the top rank because there are not many countries in the world where the primary and secondary school children all have laptops.

“I don’t see that in the rest of the Caribbean; this is part and parcel of our Education Revolution, our profound love for our students who are our future.

“So, I want to thank the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, I want to thank President (Nicholas) Maduro, I want to thank Felix Dennis and Dennis Publishing, I want to thank all the members of staff in telecoms and education; Jerrol Thompson has been working on this from the beginning, and our Foreign Minister and Minister of Technology Camillo (Gonsalves)….” Gonsalves added.

Also speaking at the short ceremony to herald the arrival of the notebooks were Elias Villalba, Venezuelan Chargé d’Affaires to St Vincent and the Grenadines; Dr Jerrol Thompson, director of special projects in the Prime Minister’s office; Nicole Bonadie-Baker, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education; and Louann Gilchrist, Chief Education Officer.