October 12, 2010
Launch of NGN will boost ‘Education Revolution’ – PM

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has declared that the launch of LIME’s Next Generation Network (NGN) will be beneficial to the advancement of the “Education Revolution”.{{more}}

Giving the feature address at the launch of the NGN at the LIME Arnos Vale technical ground on Tuesday, October 4, 2010, Gonsalves stated that the launch was important and the transition from the System X to the NGN fits in with the policies of the Government.

Speaking about the link between the NGN and Information Communication Technology (ICT), Gonsalves stated that ICT has changed how and what we communicate. He added that ICT in education will improve the speed at which teachers prepare work for students and enable students to access lessons from home, whether they are on vacation or overseas.

The Prime Minister also mentioned that this country will receive a gift of 28,000 laptops to primary and secondary school students from Portugal.

To this end, he used the opportunity to address claims that his government is imitating Trinidad and Tobago.

He said Trinidad and Tobago’s new government was elected on May 24, but that his government had the initiative underway before May 24.

“That is why when certain persons spoke about laptops I was able the next day to present the prototype which we were considering, which we were studying to receive from the government of Portugal,” said Gonsalves.

Gonsalves also mentioned the signing of a $40 million agreement between the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the European Union which will be targeted to the post secondary institutions to develop ICT departments in all four divisions of the Community College.

Elaborating on the ICT developments in Education, Minister of Telecommunications, Jerrol Thompson, said the agreement will see new computer laboratories in 20 secondary schools and 40 primary schools for those that have space to accommodate a lab.

Those that cannot house a lab, Thompson said laptops will be made available for the students.

He added that at the post secondary level, lecture halls capable of seating 1,000 students will be built with ICT equipment such as projectors, imaging equipment and whiteboards.

Thompson also addressed the relevance of each child having their own laptop as it will be easier in cases where children live in the same homes but go to different schools or are in different grades.

He added that ICT centres around in the country have trained teachers in computer programming and that teachers and other individuals will continue to be trained in ICT.