Twelve secondary schools, teachers college poised for information age leap US$908,569 contract signed

Stabroek News
September 14, 2000

The Ministry of Education and an international information technology company entered an agreement yesterday that will see 12 pilot schools and the local teachers' training institution taking a quantum leap into the information age.

The Ministry of Education and Fujitsu/ICL Caribbean (Trinidad) Ltd signed a US$908,569 agreement for the supply and installation of computers and relevant accessories in the 12 schools of the Secondary Schools' Reform Project (SSRP) in addition to the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE).

The aim of the project is to forge a comprehensive management information system (MIS) to enhance the capacity of the Ministry of Education to effectively monitor and evaluate the quality of education delivery and to assist with planning.

These will be tracked via individual students, teachers, textbooks, equipment, school sites, school accounts and record keeping systems.

Another objective of the project is to offer teachers and students opportunities to increase their knowledge in the use of computers. This means that all the regional education departments will be linked to the central processing unit at the Ministry of Education through the establishment of a Local School Information System (LSIS) and a National/Regional Education Information Management System (NSIS).

Fujitsu-ICL is a leading global supplier of information technology (IT) systems and services, with a dominant position in the Caribbean. The company intends implementing the project next month and one of its officials stressed that training is critical to the programme's success.

The contract signing took place at the National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD) in Kings-ton, which houses the SSRP Secretariat. The 12 pilot schools for the "experimental" phase of the exercise which will last an initial six months are Cotton Field, L'Aventure, Uitvlugt, Annandale, Belladrum, Fort Wellington, Manchester, Vryman's Erven, Tucville, New Campbellville Secondary, Mackenzie High and Dolphin Community High Schools.

Education Minister, Dr. Dale Bisnauth, said that Guyana has jumped ahead of the rest of the Caribbean in the field of education in going ahead with the programme. The project forms one of the components of the US$17.3 million World Bank-funded SSRP initiative which came on stream a few years ago, titled National and Regional Institutional Strengthening.

The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Barbados have implemented a similar project in other spheres of their development.

Fujitsu-ICL Caribbean Executive Vice-President for Finance and Operations, Ian Cross, assured that although the project is new to the region, it has been proven and tested.

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