NTRC Smart Project donates five desktop computers to TSSS
September 20, 2013

NTRC Smart Project donates five desktop computers to TSSS

The Thomas Saunders Secondary School (TSSS) is the latest educational institution to benefit from the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission’s (NTRC) Smart Project.{{more}}

Last Monday, September 16, at the school’s compound in Richmond Hill, Universal Service Fund (USF) administrator Kyron Duncan handed over five desktop computers to principal of the school John Renton.

Duncan said that the new computers were given to the school as part of the NTRC’s Smart Project. The Smart Project is an initiative signed on November 20th, 2012, between LIME and the NTRC and includes the donation of 51 computers, including 24 Macintosh desktop computers to the Community College.

Speaking during the school’s assembly on Monday, Duncan said that the Thomas Saunders Secondary School was recognized to receive these computers under the Smart Project. He said that the computers will be used as part of a new programming course that will be delivered at the Thomas Saunders Secondary School.

“This secondary school was recognised to take part in this pilot project and as a result students in form three and above who are interested will be involved in programming courses that will teach them how to build various applications like those available for Blackberry and Android smart phones”, said Duncan.

He said that the Thomas Saunders Secondary School donation, which is five Windows based desktop computers, is valued at over $3,500 while the overall Smart project is valued at EC $1,698,994.

“I urge the students to take care of the computers and also the equipment that provides the Internet at all the schools for them and future children to benefit”, stressed Duncan.

Meanwhile, principal Renton thanked the NTRC for the additional computers and stressed that these new computers are welcomed additions to the 23 already at the school.

“I’m very glad about this opportunity to participate in this project and I am glad to get the machines, because they would also support our existing information technology (IT) programme”, said Renton, while revealing that some of the IT classes are much bigger than 23.

He added: “I am also looking forward to the students getting support in evening classes, where they will learn the additional supplementary skills on the IT syllabus”.

He revealed that the school, which opened in 2005, has over the years gained 100 per cent IT passes at the CSEC level and returned very commendable results in other IT based subjects.

“We are always looking to improve the quality of the results and the quality of the delivery of our subjects and being part of this project will certainly help us do this”, said Renton.

Meanwhile, Duncan revealed that apart from the computer aspect of the Smart Project, a number of Vincentians that fall in the low income bracket can benefit from the EC$10 per month Internet access programme.

He said that the EC$10 per month Internet access programme also falls under the NTRC’s Smart Project and the project allows, among other things, persons that fall in the low income bracket to have Internet access for EC$10 per month for two years.

Duncan said that while persons on public assistance will be given first preference, any household that falls in the low income bracket can qualify, once that household meets a certain set of requirements.

Households that qualify to apply for the subsidy under this project are households that had no previous Internet access within the last two years; households with a student that is a beneficiary of the one laptop per child program and currently has a net book; and households that fall in the low income bracket.

Households with students in Grade Six in primary school, students in Forms Four and Five in secondary school and students taking courses at the Division of Arts, Sciences and General Studies (‘A’ Level College located in Glen), Division of Teacher Education (Teachers’ College located in Plan, Arnos Vale), Division of Technical and Vocational Studies (Technical College located in Plan, Arnos Vale) and Division of Nursing (School of Nursing located in Largo Heights) will be placed at the top of the list.

Duncan is encouraging persons who meet these criteria to come to the NTRC’s offices located in the National Insurance Services (NIS) building on Upper Bay Street and fill out an application form.

“The NTRC believes it is of great importance that households in the very low income bracket should not be left out of the opportunities that will become available through the work in this project (Smart Project) and other initiatives being done at the national and regional levels”, said Duncan.

“As such, this project is providing subsidized Internet access to 340 needy households for a two-year period, at a speed of 1 Mbps. These three hundred and forty (340) homes will pay a fee of $10 per month”, he added.

Duncan revealed that, so far, a number of households have been given Internet access under the programme, while he is encouraging persons to come forward and take advantage of “this great initiative”.