Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer
SIXTH-FORM students at Jamaica College (JC) will now be able to avoid all the hassle and expenses that often accompany the usage of textbooks.
With the launch of the tablet eBook project between the University of the West Indies (UWI) and Jamaica College yesterday, sixth-form students are now able to buy tablet computers for US$250 to assist their learning.
The UWI Total eBook Solution Tablet (TEST) Programme will also see students given the 16 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination-level eBooks free of cost.
"This project is very good and I will be taking part. I am asking them to keep this, going forward, as the tablets are very beneficial and will really help our parents financially as we are getting the eBooks for free. We couldn't ask for a better deal," Alex Chen Sue, a sixth-form student, told The Gleaner.
Ruel Reid, principal of JC, also stressed the importance of these devices to the students.
"These books cost an average of $5,000 to $20,000, and they are getting all that for free, plus a machine in the form of a tablet that allows you to enhance your learning, search the Internet, interact with teachers, and post assignments. This is the future in terms of teaching and learning," he said.
"This is indeed a tremendous day in terms of learning in Jamaica and we certainly want to be a stimulus in ensuring that the education system in Jamaica is world-class, the same way we conquered athletics," Reid added.
Dr Ronald Robinson, UWI special projects consultant, who spearheaded the initiative with a pilot programme at the UWI's Faculty of Medical Sciences, told The Gleaner that the team felt it was time to share the benefits of the UWI TEST programme with students at the secondary level.
"This is one step in the process of sharing with the nation and helping to develop the way how education is delivered to our students nationally," he said.