THE last batch of laptops under the One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) project comprises 10,000 laptops, and those would be channelled to teachers at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), before being extended outwards thereafter.This disclosure was made by Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman, at Wednesday’s post-cabinet press briefing in response to a question on the rationale behind Government’s decision to channel the laptops to teachers.
Trotman said that the rationale is to properly equip teachers with the instruments to deliver the curriculum in a more “electronic” manner, given Guyana’s current technological position, which is backward.
“We [Government] do want to emphasise teachers. I believe in the first instance we would like to target teachers that are currently at the CPCE [and] those that are perhaps pursuing degrees and diplomas at the University of Guyana; and we will roll it out from there,” Trotman proclaimed.
Teachers who are to receive these laptops are those that would have just concluded training at the college, as they would be equipped with a laptop when positioned in their respective schools in the new academic year.
Trotman said Education Minister, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine is expected to soon bring to cabinet a full policy paper on the proper distribution of the laptops.
After recognising that the education system is “creaking,” Government has moved to channel these laptops towards teachers for the better delivery of curricula in schools. The possibility exists that Government would modify the One Laptop Per Family programme to a One Laptop Per “Teacher” initiative.
The reason for the system’s reported “creaking” is the long existence of “outmoded” methods of education delivery that belong to a previous era. In identifying this pitfall, Dr. Roopnaraine said that the system needs to be equipped with new technologies for Guyana to see an actual revolution in terms of education delivery.
The Government has therefore taken this into consideration and has decided to push for technological advancement in schools, starting with investing laptops in teachers so that they can provide first-hand information to students, rather than relying solely on text-books to deliver content to students.
Meanwhile, teachers are upbeat about the Government’s intention to provide them with laptops. Many have deemed the initiative “laudable”, and suggested that the Government should ensure availability of Internet access once the distribution is done.
The One Laptop Per Family project was one of the many projects initiated by the former Administration. Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, has indicated that the project was stalled and is now linked with the E-Governance Project, at which approximately 12 OLPF staff members will be employed.
By Shivanie Sugrim