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Govt tenders for laptops now closed

By LARA PICKFORD-GORDON Friday, July 30 2010

click on pic to zoom in
Dr Tim Gopeesingh...
Dr Tim Gopeesingh...

Tenders closed yesterday for companies interested in providing laptop computers to the Government which will be given to successful Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) candidates.

The evaluation of the tenders could take three to four days, said Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh.

The evaluation team will comprise two representatives of iGovTT, two from the Information Technology (IT) of the Ministry, one representative from the Finance Ministry and one person from the Attorney General’s office. The bid opening will be supervised by consultancy firm KPMG.

In an interview yesterday Gopeesingh said policy and guidelines for laptop usage are currently being developed for students, parents and educators. Policy will encompass warranty, loss and replacement, and repairs. Gopeesingh said the ministry has invited involvement of the Association of Principals of Secondary Schools and Association of Principals of Assisted Schools, the National Primary Schools Principals Association, TT Unified Teachers’ Association and school supervisors. Gopeesingh said, “at the moment we are looking at digital resources and content, the evaluation and selection of digital materials”.

A marketing and communications campaign spearheaded by the Government Information Service is “on the way.” It will target students, parents, teachers and the wider population.

A curriculum on the use of the laptop is being developed by the Curriculum Department of the Ministry with assistance from Commonwealth Learning which has “a number of software packages”.

Gopeesingh disclosed that the ministry will expand the “connectivity” of 132 government and government-assisted, 11 private schools, and nine life centres.

He said, “Teacher training will start shortly to have ICT infusion into curriculum delivery.”

Gopeesingh said his ministry will work with the Ministry of Tertiary Education to train more teachers in the use of IT.

Asked to comment on the ministry’s goal with computers in the education system he said, “we want to improve their ICT skills, and use the computers to further information and knowledge in order to be able to utilise learning materials at home. The world of knowledge is at their fingertips.”

The provision of the laptops is one of the People’s Partnerships campaign promises. It carries a heavy price tag for the government, although the full cost is not yet known.

Gopeesingh said the government has not made any decisions on the provision of laptops for 2011 SEA students, and will monitor and evaluate what happens in the new academic year.

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