Minister Patricia Lourens-Philip says COM Approves One Tablet per Child

Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Hon. Patricia Lourens Philip is proud to announce the approval by the Council of Ministers (COM) of the “One Tablet per Child” project.

The purpose of the project, the Minister stated, is to provide all children in elementary schools with a tablet, starting with the students in Public Education, which fall directly under the Ministry.

The Minister on Tuesday, August 26th, presented the Council of Ministers with several related policy documents to ensure that the project was embedded in an Information Communication Technology (ICT) Policy in Education in general and in particular in an ICT policy for the Schools.

“The preparation of this project took several months to be completed because I wanted to ensure that everything would be in place to guarantee the sustainability and continuity of the project after the transition of government.

“When I took office a little over a year ago I put together a list of goals that I would have liked to accomplish during my short tenure as Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports.

“Introducing ICT in education topped my priority list as I am convinced that providing our students, the future human resources of this island, with the necessary skills and knowledge in the use of information and communication technologies will guarantee accelerated sustainable economic and social development for St. Maarten,” Minister Lourens-Philip pointed out.

The funds fls. 4.277.775,46 were secured from the division of assets from the Antillean Bureau of Telecommunications and Post. The St. Maarten Development Fund will manage and supervise the disbursement of the funds.

“Only through an ICT literate labor force, will St. Maarten be able to dispose of a critical manpower pool of highly skilled professionals, such as engineers, technicians, and software developers who will support a growing local ICT industry.

“This industry has the potential to contribute to the diversification of our one pillar economy” Minister Lourens-Philip stated.

She continued to say that the “One Tablet per Child Project” will also provide career opportunities for talented St. Maarteners and others to participate in the ICT knowledge generation. Where the schools themselves are concerned the administration and management of these institutions will also benefit from this project through effective use of ICT tools in their day to day operation, thereby transforming the educational landscape of St. Maarten.

“This innovative step in Education is the realization of one of my dreams for education, and I congratulate the community of St. Maarten as well as the entire education sector of St. Maarten with the approval of this project”, concluded the Minister who is the former Head of the Government’s Division of Education Innovation.