Friday 17 November, 2017

Digicel, Ministry of Education partnering on mobile technology

Chief Executive Officer of Digicel Barbados, Alex Tasker (right), congratulates Minister of Education, Ronald Jones as Chief Education Officer, Karen Best looks on.

Chief Executive Officer of Digicel Barbados, Alex Tasker (right), congratulates Minister of Education, Ronald Jones as Chief Education Officer, Karen Best looks on.

With 9,000 tablets having been distributed to locals schools, the Ministry of Education is partnering with regional telecommunications company, Digicel, to roll out software which ensures the technology is being used are being used safely and effectively.

Using the IBM MaaS360 software provided by ICT provider Digicel Business and its technology partner, IBM, the Ministry will have full control of the tablets and how they are used by students.

The Ministry can push approved educational content directly to the smart devices while at the same time restricting access to unauthorised apps or features. The software can also track the location of devices in case of theft and allows for cameras to be disabled in an effort to fight cyber bullying and provide general online safety for all students.

Education Minister Ronald Jones and Digicel Barbados CEO, Alex Tasker, with officials from their offices at the launch of the Tablet for Schools programme at the Ministry of Education on Wednesday.

Chief Executive Officer of Digicel Barbados, Alex Tasker, said the goal is to ensure that no student in left behind especially considering how technology is transforming today's society. He said the Ministry has made a bold move to equip students to compete in the digital age and the software goes above and beyond to make the experience a safe one.

"By putting the right technology in the hands of our future generation, we’re not just preparing them to compete in the digital age - we’re giving them the tools they need to win while they’re at it." 

"We’re very proud to be part of this project by the Government of Barbados, and we commend them for their foresight and dedication to improving the local education system through technology. We look forward to seeing this project right through to success and we hope to continue working on even more initiatives like these that aim to put Barbadian youth at the forefront of the knowledge economy."

Tasker said Digicel has also assisted other Caribbean countries with their technology in schools initiatives including the GATE (Government Assisted Technology Endeavour) project in Antigua and Barbuda and Tablets in School project in Jamaica. 

Education Minister Ronald Jones noted it was critical to implement software that could monitor the technology students were using as it was easy for them to get caught up in misusing the technology. He expressed the hope that partnerships such as these would quiet some of the criticisms coming from members of the public about increasing the use of technology in the classrooms.

The tablets being used were part of a donation made by the People's Republic of China back in March of this year.