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The ‘One Laptop per Student’ initiative was a central plank of the Dr. Ralph Gonsalves Unity Labour Party’s successful bid for a third term in office last Dec.

ST. VINCENT (Feb. 27):- An additional 13,000 net books are expected to arrive in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) on Monday, Feb. 28, as the government moves to implements its ‘One Laptop per Student’ initiative.

The initiative was a central plank of the Dr. Ralph Gonsalves Unity Labour Party’s successful bid for a third term in office last Dec.

A media advisory from the government said that the shipment on Monday is in addition to the 2,000 computers that arrived in the state last Dec.

The release said that in March 2011, the Ministry of Education will deliver an aggressive public awareness effort at the level of the educational institutions.

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“The Ministry will convene orientation sessions encompassing an introduction to the net book as well as discussion of pertinent documentation which has been developed to facilitate the phased introduction of this component of the thrust in use of digital technologies to enhance teaching and learning,” the press advisory said.

It further stated that the Teachers’ Union, primary and secondary principals and heads of other educational institutions, including the Community College, will participate in these orientation sessions, which began on Friday, Feb. 25.

In March, orientation of teachers and students will be undertaken on a zonal level, the statement said, adding that distribution of the net books to educational institutions under Phase 1 of the initiative will be completed by April 2011.

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The governments of Portugal and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela have collaborated in donating the net books to the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and have also pledged their support to the integration of information and communication technology into the curriculum.

“This initiative, which seeks to ensure that there is equitable access to educational services and resources by all students, is a corollary to the 9th EDF Project currently being implemented here and whose objectives include the improvement of Education through the use of Information and Communication Technology,” the statement said.

It further said that under this project, approximately five million dollars has been awarded in contracts to deliver computers to all educational institutions throughout the SVG.  Distribution of these items will also commence in late March 2011.