March 20, 2009
LIME brings EDUMAX to primary schools

Teachers and students alike are excited about the new EDUMAX (ICT Literacy/ Educating MAX Project) project that will begin in earnest next term in 16 primary schools and seven Learning Resource Centres nationwide.{{more}}

This is according to Chester James of the Education Programme Management Unit (EPMU) of the Ministry of Education, who is overseeing the $7 million project, a joint venture between Landline Internet Mobile Entertainment (LIME) and the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

James told SEARCHLIGHT this week that the next phase of training of the teachers who will be executing the project will begin soon, and everything is being put in place to have at least 10 other primary schools come on stream with the project by the next school year.

James said that he believes that the multi media dimension of the programme will be a great asset in reaching students through the various learning styles.

He also lauded the element of the project that will allow the Ministry of Education to monitor the progress of the children in the various schools online, keeping track of the students’ progress throughout their primary school life.

The multi-media programme was developed about four years ago by Englishman Michael Walker, who resides in St Lucia, and his son Martin, a software developer.

Walker had discussions with an executive of Cable & Wireless (now LIME), and the EDUMAX project, which is designed to use integrated computer technology in schools to enhance learning in Numeracy, Literacy, Health and English, aimed at primary school students, was born.

The programme utilizes the MAX personal Internet Communicator, a basic Internet access device designed to provide managed online Internet content and basic computing capabilities.

Schools will have access to the online content, as well as printed textbooks in each of the subject areas. Each subject has up to six units of work.

Additionally, the content is aired on a 30-minute programme shown on SVG TV twice a day on weekdays.

When he addressed a recent press conference for the symbolic handing over of the text books for the programme, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that the project is another indication of the deepening and widening and development of the education revolution.

He said the multi-media presentation of the content of the programme, which will complement what already exists in the education system, teaches students the important lesson of innovation and creativity, which is crucial to the development of the country.

Meanwhile, Michael Walker said that it was always one of his dreams to produce a “truly multimedia educational product that was affordable, accessible, teachable and learnable.”

Over 600 MAX computers will be utilized in this project, and the computers are being installed in the schools by LIME free of charge, with Internet connectivity also provided free for one year.

Eventually the programme will be operational in 67 primary schools and 13 learning resource centres nationwide. (KJ)