$14.5M contract signed for IT labs at three secondary schools

Stabroek News
June 7, 2003

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Three renovated secondary schools, two in Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) and one in Region Ten (Upper Demerara/Upper Berbice), are to receive Information Techno-logy (IT) laboratories with the signing of a $14.5M contract in the boardroom of the Ministry of Education.

The contract documents were signed on Tuesday by Stephen Bradley, Project Director of GEAP (Guyana Education Access Project, and Chief Executive Officer of Netcom Computer City, Elijah Jit.

The three schools to benefit are Linden Foundation, Skeldon Line Path and Skeldon High.

Each lab will consist of 15 fully inter-linked work stations with the necessary Windows-based operating system and Microsoft Office software. The hardware package also includes scanners and printers.

Jit told Stabroek News that the first batch of Dell computers and Hewlett-Packard printers and scanners will be delivered in about two weeks.

GEAP is a Ministry of Education project which is funded by the British Governmentís Department for International Development (DFID).

The setting up of the IT labs forms part of GEAPís support to the Ministryís reform and expansion of secondary education in Guyana.

A release from GEAP said that the aim of the labs is to provide the schools with the equipment necessary for students to learn IT as a subject and assist with learning across the curriculum.

The labs will differ from the traditional internet cafe in scope and although they will be linked to the internet, the setting will be similar to a classroom.

GEAP will be supplying management software which would allow a teacher to function as administrator of the computer network and monitor the logging on of users. Students will also be able to view one-anotherís computer screens during class activities. Computer subjects such as graphics designing will also be offered to students.

According to GEAP, Tagore Memorial Secondary and Christianburg Secondary have already received IT laboratories.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education Hydar Ally said that the signing of the contract focused on the quality aspects of the education programme. This, he said, will complement the work being done with disadvantaged youths and their parents in various communities. He noted too that the Ministry, through GEAP, is working to promote IT education in schools.

Ally expressed his appreciation for the work that GEAP has performed over the years, but stressed that the programme is coming to an end. GEAP, he said, has had a fair measure of success in terms of its significant impact on classroom activities.

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