Students to use iPads in classrooms

Education Ministry MIS Unit head, Yoganand Indarsingh

— to access learning materials

IPADS and similar electronic devices will soon be used by secondary school students in the classroom to access learning materials. Eighty-two secondary schools in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five and Six  are now connected to the Government’s E-governance (E-GOV) 4-G LTE infrastructure network and are able to access Wi-Fi and Internet services, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported Thursday.
Head of the MIS (Management Information System) Unit at the Ministry of Education, Yoganand Indarsingh, in a recent interview with GINA, said the connection has been placed in proximity to the Information Technology (IT) laboratories in the secondary schools, allowing the computers in the laboratories to have access to the network and the Internet.
Indarsingh explained that wireless routers in the computer labs would allow students with iPods, iPads and similar electronic mobile devices to access the network.
He said also that the service would be made available to whatever instructional technology is being used within the schools as part of the curriculum and not only for students preparing their School-Based Assessments (SBAs).
The World Bank-funded Secondary School Improvement Programme (SSIP) includes a mathematics pilot project that targets Grade Seven students at a number of secondary schools.
The project also provides electronic tablets for the students and these students would use the e-government connection to access the Internet on their tablets, GINA stated.
Moreover, the students would not have uninhibited access to the Internet as systems are in place to filter the content and to ensure it is used only for educational and instructional purposes, Indarsingh noted.
The E-Government Unit would apply the filter to ensure that only appropriate content will be accessed by the schools. The system would be further filtered within the schools, depending on what restriction would be required by the school itself.
The Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity to the schools are part of the Improving Digital Equity, Access and Learning (IDEAL) Programme.
This programme is in keeping with a mandate given by President David Granger to have all public institutions, including schools, equipped with Internet services to facilitate the transition from traditional learning techniques to a modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT) approach.
Under the Improving Digital Equity, Access and Learning (IDEAL) Programme, all the secondary schools across the country are expected to have access to the Internet and Wi-Fi service before the end of the year, with the primary schools coming on stream in 2017, GINA added.