Mr. Herbert stated that the new relationship with Microsoft will significantly lower the cost of the initiative, but added that exposure to, and use of open source software, which is an important component of the project, will still take place.

Software giant Microsoft is partnering with the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis to transform the educational landscape.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Development Coordinator Christopher Herbert told SKNIS an arrangement has been made to have access to popular programmes such as Microsoft Office, which will be installed on HP manufactured devices to be used in the I-Literacy One-to-One Laptop Project.

The initiative, which will provide laptops to all high school students, was conceived by the Government to prepare students to successfully participate in the digital age which requires equal access to technology to foster learning and creativity so as to remain competitive in a globalised world.

Meanwhile, the ICT Development Coordinator additionally revealed that a two tiered programme is being developed for teachers. The first tier will build the digital literacy of persons who are unfamiliar with the principles of computing while the second will demonstrate integrating the technology-based devices as teaching tools in executing the curriculum.

The laptops are scheduled to arrive on island in a few weeks time.

Similar computer literacy programmes targeting school students exist in a number of Caribbean countries. These include Suriname and Dominica. Also, Seventy nine of 152 secondary schools in Trinidad and Tobago are now using Government laptops while Antigua and Barbuda recently signed a bilateral agreement with China to provide laptops for local students.

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