Dennis Publishing, the UK’s largest technology publisher, has brokered a deal to provide over 12,500 laptops to secondary schools in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The deal will see technology leaders Acer, Microsoft and Trend Micro come together to provide all secondary school children in the country with desperately needed leading edge technology.

It is hoped the scheme will inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs and assist the burgeoning economy of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

In Summer 2013, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves approached Dennis Publishing owner and chair, Felix Dennis, about launching a scheme to empower every secondary school child in the region, by providing each one with a state of the art laptop and software. The idea behind the scheme was to allow the children to learn to demonstrate their creativity and business skills whilst in a secure environment.

Dennis engaged his team at Dennis Publishing, as the UK’s largest technology publisher, to help specify and build a programme that would suit this scheme. Taking in factors such as usage, security, longevity of the products and a system that would be free from IT Managers, Dennis brought in software and IT hardware specialists Carteme to help source the right selection of products. Westcoast, the specialist in information technology, who has great relationships with Acer and Microsoft, was brought in to help Dennis build this programme.

Dennis Publishing, who owns brands such as PC Pro, Computer Shopper and Expert Reviews, specified Acer for its leading edge and robust technology, Microsoft for its usability and longevity of its product range and Trend Micro to build security so that the St Vincent’s Government would be safe in the knowledge that the children would be protected.

“This project is the result of two extraordinary partnerships; one between the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the ‘maestro’ Felix Dennis and his team at Dennis Publishing, Acer, Microsoft, and Trend Micro; and the second between my government and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela led first by Hugo Chavez and then by Nicholas Maduro which provided the financing. The special personal relationships between Felix, on the one hand, and between Hugo, Nicholas and me, on the other, were instrumental in putting together this amazing project. I thank them and everyone else who has been engaged in it,” Gonsalves said.

Through collaboration, hard work and a number of sessions with the Government of SVG, especially Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sen. Camillo Gonsalves, Ambassador to Venezuela, Andreas Wickham, and the Ministries of Education and Technology, and the Special Projects Coordinator, Jerrol Thompson, the arrangements will see 12,500 Acer laptops with internet security provided by Trend Micro and a software solution provided by Microsoft, as part of their Shape the Future Campaign, delivered to St Vincent and the Grenadines schools within the next 10 weeks, the latest.

“We’re delighted that this scheme has come to fruition. The hope of all the partners is that this programme can demonstrate what passionate companies can do when they work together on such a worthy cause. We all hope that St Vincent and the Grenadines becomes a fantastic testimonial for what technology can do to inspire children and a new generation. We hope that this could be the

start of similar programmes in the future,” said Julian Lloyd-Evans, managing director of advertising at Dennis Publishing, who brokered the deal.

“The St Vincent and the Grenadine Government, Dennis Publishing and Felix Dennis would like to personally thank Carl Oxley from Westcoast Distribution, Simon Hallworth from Carteme, and our fantastic partners at Acer, Microsoft West Indies and Trend Micro, for their patience, tenacity and help in putting this programme together,” he further said.

Over the next 12 months, Dennis Publishing will follow the programme and share the results.

8 replies on “12,500 laptops to be donated to secondary school students in SVG”

  1. Now, let’s hope that these laptops are integrated into pedagogical practices in all content areas. I’ve made observations where the current set of laptops are used solely as recreation (or to keep students busy), as opposed to their intended use as tools of pedagogy. Furthermore, I hope that the relevant Ministries can cope with updating software, fixing physical components of laptops, etc. There is nothing wrong with equipping our students with laptops, but there must be a structure in place so that they can be used effectively.

  2. Is this a follow on from the 2010 election lie, a lap top for every school child lie, to have been supplied by Venezuela, [in fact the few supplied were paid for by Portugal through an EU scheme], built in Venezuela and distributed by Venezuela. Where by the E. U. pay the bill and Venezuela and its nasty Marxist leader Hugo Chavez got the glory. What is another smack in the eye is that Chavez owned the factory, a factory associated with the electronic voting machine factory, also owned by Chavez. You know the ones they wanted to bring here, every third vote for the opposition party is electronically converted to a vote for the ruling party, darned clever what you can program a computerised system to do.

    Now we are brought laptop version number two, because all the school children never got a free computer in 2011/12. Those that got one, it was not free, they had to subscribe. Just like the school books that the students have to pay between 300 and 600 EC dollars a year for, a part of an education revolution paid for by the children.

    I will look into this as to who is actually paying for the latest batch of computers, because every time we are told the Venezuela or in this case Moduru is paying, it turns out to be a loan from PetroCaribe.

    Sorry but cannot accept the word on this at face value, you all know why I say that, I have voiced that opinion so many times.

    I will let you all know.

    PS no where in this article [election release] does it say that the computers will be supplied free.

    Peter

  3. sorry a correction to the comments by me

    PS no where in this article [election release] does it say that the computers will be supplied free to the children.

    Peter

  4. StarFM website July 2008- “{COMPUTERS FOR THIRD FORMERS

    Every Third Former in St. Vincent and the Grenadines could soon be receiving a refurbished Computer from the Ministries of Education and Telecommunications.

    This statement was made by Minister of Telecommunications, Dr. Jerrol Thompson during a press briefing organized by Karib Cable earlier this week to launch their Double Play Service.

    Minister of Telecommunications, Dr. Jerrol Thompson says with the Education Revolution already in place and the Government’s aim to have broadband Internet in every household, the youths now need access to computers to ensure this holistic development.

    He says the Ministry of Education has accumulated funds through the Universal Service Fund and other developments are taking place at the Community College through this funding. ”
    I want Jerrol Thompson to say if these were delivered and when. Years later 3000 out of 15 000 came in “phase 1” and we are still waiting for phase 2 delivery. The recipients of these ‘donated’ must realize that they will be paying twice for these, taxes and out of pocket, and about 5000 will come before election with promises of the others at a post election date. My prediction- Delivery will start in South, Central or North Leeward.

  5. ELLO, many of the poorer children do not have electricity at home, they cannot afford internet unless it is free, not reduced priced, free.

    When they leave school no jobs, because we have no industry, falling tourism and just push them on the scrap heap attitude from the government.

    It doesn’t matter if the laptops are used for recreational use, its that which drives the inquisitive minds to look further afield. Learning is not just about school lessons, its about knowing what is going on in the world and being able to converse and have an opinion on any subject.

  6. As someone who has been using computers since 1972, I can attest to the facf that they are very useful tools. But they are no substitute for effective teaching and hiigh-order learning. There will never be an “education revolution” in SVG unless the shortcomings in both areas are addressed.

    Learning outcomes — internalization of basic skills, high level literacy and numeracy, etc. — in many developed and developing countries have declined over the past four decades, a period corresponding with the computer revolution. Having lots of paper credentials (a lot of subjects, diplomas, degrees, etc.) does not correspond with being a well-rounded, thoughtful, learned individual.

    We must stop equating “inputs” such as number of computers, number of university-trained teachers, number of schools being bult, number of students going to secondary schools, and so forth with “outputs”, namely the knowedge internalized, utilzed, and generated by the school-attending population.

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