5,000 more laptops, tablets coming for students, some touchscreen

By Demion McTair. Updated 12:38 p.m., Tuesday, January 10, 2023, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 computers. Photo: ASUS.

This country’s government has secured 5,000 additional laptops and tablets for students across the country.

Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves, during his 2023 Budget Address on Monday, said 3,000 of the devices are ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 computers, while 2,000 are tablets.

He said the 3,000 ASUS Chromebook Flip C214 devices have been secured through negotiations with the Government of Taiwan.

He said the ASUS devices are touchscreen with a built-in keyboard stylus and rugged design to withstand the rigours of backpacks and classrooms.

He said the devices will be shipped from California next week and will be here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in a matter of weeks.

In relation to the tablets, he said: “Similarly, under the Covid-19 Response Program funded by the Caribbean Development Bank – CDB, the additional 2,000 tablets will be purchased this year to equip incoming primary school students and replace damaged devices across the educational sector.”

“The 5,000 tablets to be received and distributed in 2023, once again proves that the government continues to find ways to be consistent, sustainable and cutting-edge in the delivery of technology to our youth,” the finance minister said.

“We will continue to ensure that the next generation has hands-on familiarity with the latest technology and that technology is further integrated into our digital transformation agenda,” he added.

He said the devices will complement the 1.5-million-dollar upgrade to school computer labs.

He said the Ministries of Information Technology and Education are currently finalizing plans for the optimal use of the devices as a learning and teaching tool this year.

Background

Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves said: “We were the first and only government in the region to deliver laptops from Portugal and Venezuela to every student in the country.”

“When the pandemic and the volcano closed schools and forced students into online classrooms, ours was again, the first and only government in the region to supply tablet computers to every single primary, secondary, and community college students in the country, he said.

He said: “A total of 26,682 ultra-modern tablets was successfully distributed – a phenomenal achievement in the midst of a pandemic.”

This year, as part of our continued digital transformation efforts, we will again be putting modern technology directly into the hands of our students.

He said: the future, in large measure, revolves around digital technology. Budget 2023 continues to place that future in the hands of Vincentians, just as we continue to modernize outmoded systems to ensure that every citizen can have a safe, seamless and productive interaction with their government.

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