Sat | Dec 3, 2016

Schoolboy beats software to access inappropriate website on Gov't-issued tablet

Published:Wednesday | October 29, 2014 | 12:00 AM

A male student has cracked software that has been installed on tablet computers distributed in schools, forcing the Government to find ways to ensure that the technology meant to enable learning will not become a gateway to pornography and other nefarious activities.

Technology Minister Phillip Paulwell told Parliament yesterday that the student's hacking into the computer, which was fitted with software to filter undesirable materials, "shows the cleverness of our people".

"Rather than chastising too much, we have had to call that student in to try to understand how he was able to get into the software and to change the programme to enable certain things. We are learning, and we have been able to put a stop gap to prevent that particular aspect from continuing," Paulwell said.

30,000 TABLETS TO BE ISSUED

Under the Tablet in Schools initiative, the brainchild of Paulwell, students in 37 schools islandwide will have access to tablet computers through a pilot project that will see the distribution of 30,000 tablets to students in primary and secondary schools to increase the use of technology and to optimise learning opportunities within and outside of the formal school system.

Gregory Mair, the member of parliament for North East St Catherine, had tabled questions of Paulwell about the programme. He also expressed fear that computer labs in schools were not properly supervised and that students were exposed to age-inappropriate content.

Mair said that the labs are "major platforms for children to access all kinds of websites", a suggestion with which Paulwell did not disagree. Instead, he said that "what we need to do is put a similar filtering programme" as is the case with the Tablet in Schools programme.

daraine.luton@gleanerjm.com