St Lucia intends to eliminate books in the classroom
St.Lucia’s Prime Minister Kenny Anthony says his government is seeking to revolutionise the islands education system by eliminating the need for books in the classroom.
Anthony, who is also Finance Minister made his intentions known to students in the south of the island Wednesday as they became part of the distribution network of thousands of laptop computers.
Under the Secondary School Laptop Programme established by the Ministry of Education, 3,300 laptops are being provided to fourth form students to assist them in preparing for exams in the coming year.
“I suspect that in the next five or possibly ten years, children attending secondary school will no longer be required obtain books, and parents will be relieved of the task of digging deep to find funds to purchase text books come September.
Because all the textbooks you would require will be on a laptop that you are going to have to accompany you to school. That day will soon come,” he said.
Anthony a former teacher and Minister of Education said in preparation for that day, his government was moving to not only modify teaching styles and techniques but “we have a responsibility as a Government and a country to prepare you.”
He described the laptop distribution programme as an “equaliser” enabling students from all of backgrounds to access computers.
Education Minister Dr. Robert Lewis announced that the laptops were procured via a joint purchase with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago where a similar programme for schools has been run for the past three years.As such he said government was able to spend less than the estimated EC$6million (US$1=37EC cents) previously allocated for the purchase of the devices.
Lewis said that the provision of computers to schools falls in line with ongoing technological advances in the school curriculum.
“We are just concluding a major project which is financed largely by the European Union, including the development of a policy for the integration of ICT in managing education to the use of ICT in the teaching-learning process itself,” he said.
All laptops have several security features which will track and disable the units if they are stolen.