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NTRC begins ICT pilot project at Calliaqua Anglican School

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THE Calliaqua Anglican School is the latest educational institution to benefit from an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) pilot project being implemented by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC).Last Friday, the project, which aims to encourage the use of technology in education, saw the Calliaqua Anglican School receiving five new Acer Chrome touch screen desktop computers, an electronic whiteboard, a scanner and other equipment.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, Sustainable Development and Information Technology, Camillo Gonsalves stated that the computers come with Google Classroom and this is a plus for both teachers and students.

Google Classroom is a free learning management system developed by Google for schools. It aims to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way.

The Minister, who is also parliamentary representative for East St George said that Google Classroom allows for the sharing of documents in one place where everyone can access it, the grading of exams and the posting of results online. The NTRC will provide training for teachers in Google Classroom.

“We are working on other things that will aid in learning and teaching and step-by-step we will get there,” said Gonsalves who added that the pilot project has also seen computers installed at the Fitz Hughes Government School and will also see computers placed at the primary schools in Colonaire and Coulls Hill.

“We are going to evaluate how that works before we decide it is worth going forward,” explained Gonsalves who added that Director of the NTRC Apollo Knights should be commended for his very extensive negotiations with Google to make sure that the software and other aspects of the Google Classroom, that may sometimes attract a fee, are being used free of cost for this pilot project.

“Knights has done incredibly well using the limited resources of the NTRC to further the issue of technology in education and I think he should be commended for that,” said Gonsalves.

Addressing the gathering, the NTRC’s Director said the NTRC wants to make sure that primary school students use the Internet. “The NTRC as well as the government sees your development as very important for the development of the country,” said Knights to the students gathered.

Headteacher at the school Corselle Smith said the school is grateful for the donation as the computers they had before had outlived their usefulness.

The equipment was bought for just under EC$11,000 and paid for by the Universal Service Fund (USF).

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