Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves (left) examines one of the laptops on their arrival in St. Vincent. (Photo: Lance Neverson/Facebook)

Secondary schoolteachers will be given a smartphone if they complete a training programme this summer to help them to respond to the needs of their students who will receive laptops from the government later this month.

Last week, 12,500 Acer laptops for secondary and post-secondary school students and teachers arrived in the country as part of the government’s one laptop per student initiative.

Dennis Publishing, the UK’s largest technology publisher, has brokered a deal to provide 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 leading edge technology.

Speaking in Langley Park on Friday, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said that distribution of the laptops to students will begin the week of June 23 and should last one month.

He further said that during the school vacation, all 700 secondary schoolteachers who are dealing with this matter will be trained.

A lot of the teachers are already trained in information technology, Gonsalves said, but added that there are “a lot of programmes which have to be death with, and the teaching of the teachers is very important to deliver the educational outcomes for the students.

“And, I say to the teachers, when you do the training during the holidays, and when you finish, and when we give you the certificate to show that you have attended the training session and successfully completed the training sessions, which all of them will do, because they will come to all the sessions, on that day, I am going to have for each of the teachers additionally, a … smartphone to give to each of the teachers, to give you the incentives and to say go forth and teach our children,” Gonsalves said.

6 replies on “Gov’t to give teachers smartphones; students to get laptops”

  1. Peter Binose says:

    Who is the giver of these laptops, basically its Gonsalves friend from Mustique, via one of his companies Dennis Publishing. Or at least he brokered the deal, whatever that means?

    Felix Dennis was better known for publishing his girlie magazines and sex labelled magazines. Maxim magazine which sold in the UK used to sell 350,000 copies a month and was described by some as pornographic.

    Felix Dennis proclaims in his book ‘How To Get Rich‘: “If it flies, floats or fornicates, always rent it.”

    Described by the UK’s Daily Mail as a billionaire junkie and sexual anarchist.
    They went on to say “By his own admission, for much of his life the publisher Felix Dennis has been a “coked-up, overweight, cigarette- smoking, malt-whisky swilling idiot with too much money”.
    When he was younger he also had a passion for ‘”five-in-a bed” romps with some of the “14 mistresses” kept on his company’s payroll, as well as a crack cocaine habit that saw him squander £50million.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1006103/Billionaire-junkie-sexual-anarchist-But-Felix-Dennis-murderer-too.html
    Written by GEOFFREY WANSELL in 2008, is an article every Vincentian should read.

    Now I understand that Ralph Gonsalves has from time to time spent periods with Felix Dennis at his Mustique mansion home. I have for the life of me tried to fathom out the similarities between the two men, also what attracts Gonsalves to Dennis. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, please leave them for me via the editor.

    Whilst your at it read this as well, written by Sean O’Hagen in 2013.
    “Felix Dennis is laughing like a loon as he tells me how hard it is to spend a fortune on crack cocaine, fine wine and wild women: “$100m on sex and drugs and rock’n’roll!” he shouts. “I literally pissed it away. Do you know how much hard work that is?”
    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/jun/02/nine-lives-of-felix-dennis

    Should the name of Felix Dennis be mentioned in the same article as one that refers to our children and their futures. Our kids can look on the internet, find out all about the man, and equate him with sex, drugs and huge amounts of money.

    I am sorry to say that once again something like this shows just how stupid Gonsalves choice of man is, how tainted and warped his actual judgement is, and shows us that he is unfit to be our leader.

  2. Peter Binose says:

    This is most obviously an election bribe for the kids and the teachers. The only thing that puzzles me is why would you expect teachers to spend their holidays doing a course. Some are from different islands and will want to go home, some will be booked to go on vacation, most will already have a smart phone.

    Why embarrass the teachers and wreck their holidays. They have already been deceived with the dud agreement that they were given which was on his part knowingly unenforceable and unconstitutional.

    Remember he once said he didn’t care if the teachers voted for him or not? they would make no difference to him. So why now come with the sweeteners?

  3. I wonder what educational and productivity programs come pre-installed in these laptops….Microsoft Office Suite, typing training, accounting, design. Hope there is a real plan for these devices.

    Is there any kind of internet or electricity incentive programs that go along with these devices to assist the parent of these students? I really do hope so.

  4. Way the tail is this? Smart phone for teachers? who is paying for that.Maybe If you paid the teachers the raise increase like you promised they wouldn’t have to get a smart phone from the government. What is SVG really coming to, how is this going to benefit our education system. And here we are again with more laptops, these schools need computer labs so they could have a standard program island wide, not laptops where you can’t monitor them. What is really going on? Who advised on the wasting of money on these things? i work in I.T (not I.C.T, the nonsense it’s called in the Caribbean), and I will tell you right now that there are better ways to spend your money than these.

    Sorry, i forgot election coming up. Give them ah phone and the teachers would forget about the raise.But you could come high or low this time, you going out and into cuffs. OWN THE JAIL.

  5. Caribbean Man says:

    It is good that government of SVG has acknowledged that we are living in a technological age and that more needs to be done to incorporate the use of technology in the teaching-learning process. I think that the laptop programme is well intentioned, but is it being properly executed? As a casual outside observer to begin with, what are the specific objectives of the programme and to what extent are these objectives inextricably linked to the fundamental learning problems plaguing the secondary education – poor critical thinking skills, low levels of functional literacy and numeracy appropriate to the grade level of the students. Secondly, what on-going evaluation mechanisms are in place to assess the performance of the programme and guide future action? Thirdly, were these computers that were handed to students equipped with tailored content and software to assist them with the problem areas within the secondary school curriculum? Or is it that the students were left on their own to find stuff on the internet (for those who have access) to help them? Fourthly, has there been any analysis of other countries that have embarked on similar programmes (e.g. Trinidad and Tobago) to identify strengths and pitfalls in such programmes, so as to better inform the conceptual development and implementation of the project? To be effective, technology needs to be used in a strategic manner in keeping with larger developmental goals. It would be good if anyone with a good knowledge of the laptop programme could shed some more light the above questions, so as to elucidate the analysis.

  6. Don’t worry! The kids who received the previous laptops are using them to serf for other reasons than education. There is no link to school curriculum on these computers. A laptop is a personal thing and each child will utilize it for different reasons.
    I have to agree with one previous writer that a computer lab will do much more to educate the same recipients of the laptop. They can install all the laptops in the class rooms, so children can have access and learn computer programming and other IT functions.
    I don’t think much thought was placed on what to expect from this venture – well except to buy votes. There has to be much more than handing out laptops, like galvanize and board, without some measurement of success. In a year or two, will there be young programmers building applications for the IT market?
    Now the money: Do you remember Ralph jacked-up the cost of the Christmas Eve disaster. These are the funds he will use to finance this political gimmick. Many countries donated funds to finance rehabilitation to those who lost everything. Several countries knew about the government’s handling of previous disaster relief funds and gave things that had to be used for disaster relief only. Keep in mind Ralph is dishonest and will do anything to win another term in office. I say, “If SVG nationals give him that chance, he should fornicate them, including men”. Every all!

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