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August 19, 2014
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Ministry of Education to use tablets to ehnace learning

The Ministry of Education will be ensuring the content and general use of computer tablets, to be introduced in some schools in September, are in tandem with the set curriculum.

Chief education officer at the ministry, Dr Grace McLean, gave the assurance recently, while addressing a JIS Think Tank.

"We will ensure that, as far as it is possible, books that are available electronically, and that we would have provided for schools, are uploaded on the tablets. Instead of providing students with hard-copy books especially at the lower primary level, students will be able to access these materials online," Dr McLean explained.

An initiative of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, the Tablet In Schools pilot project is set to roll out in 38 learning institutions across the island at the start of the new school year in September.

The pilot programme will be introduced in one teachers' college, 12 high, 11 primary, six pre-primary, four all-age, one junior high school and a special-education institution.

Many of the teachers involved in the pilot have already received their tablets and have been participating in workshops to learn how to use them effectively.

She assured that the ministry had done its homework before consenting the project to be introduced in the schools.

"Overall, the ministry is really very happy for this innovation in Jamaica as this may be the largest one within the Caribbean. We have done our research across the entire world, so we know the weaknesses and the strengths. We have put systems and procedures in place to account for those weaknesses," she told JIS News.

The chief education officer said the ministry is looking forward to an excellent rollout, "as we seek to change the landscape of education in this country".

All tablets will be able to access the Internet, which will be provided free of cost to schools.

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