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Paulwell reviews tablets in secondary schools

Published:Wednesday | December 2, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell has indicated that plans are in place to ensure that there is a smooth process in how tablets are administered in secondary schools.

While several secondary schools were recipients of the Government's Tablets in Schools Programme, issues have emerged, including students finding ways of accessing pornographic sites. An audit has since been conducted.

Speaking with The Gleaner following the East Kingston and Port Royal Tablets in Schools Programme launch held at the Windward Road Primary School in Kingston, the minister said there would be a renewed focus on primary schools, while the relevant stakeholders would be implementing proposals to address issues at the secondary level.




"I have decided to focus on primary schools because based on a pilot project we did, we realised that that's where we get the best results.There are some issues at the secondary level as we recognise that students are doing other things," he said.

"Reading has improved tremendously in addition to attendance in primary schools, however, we are going to need some time to think things through in terms of how we deal with the high school students as they are preoccupied with pornography and other things," Paulwell continued.

"As such, I don't believe that it would be wise to expand the programme. Instead, we have to see how best we can iron things out so as to allow a smooth process," he said.

The minister said the tablets were returned and are currently being updated.

"A draft of the audit being done was sent to me yesterday. Separate and apart from that, the level of stolen tablets was very low. Out of 25,000, I gather that a little over 100 have been stolen. A number of them have also been recovered. one was even traced back all the way to Russia," he told The Gleaner.

In the meantime, hundreds of students attending primary schools in East Kingston and Port Royal are to receive tablets in the new school year.

A total of 700 tablets will be provided, with Windward Road Primary receiving 225; Rollington Town Primary, 180; Elletson Primary and Infant, Norman Gardens Primary and Junior High and Holy Rosary Primary, 80 each; and Port Royal Primary, 27 tablets.