Technical Drawing students to get AutoCAD ready computers by January
Students pursuing technical drawing at the Caribbean Examinations Council/ Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CXC/CSEC) level have been assured that they will soon be able to produce their drawings digitally.
This, as the Ministry of Education has already awarded a contract to an overseas based company for the supply of computers that can run AutoCAD®, which is computer-aided design (CAD) software that architects, engineers, and construction professionals rely on to create precise 2D and 3D drawings.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Myccle Burke said that from January 2020, students writing technical drawing at CXC/CSEC will use AutoCAD®.
Burke’s comments came on the heels of a complaint made to SEARCHLIGHT by a parent that students may no longer be able to pursue technical drawing at the CXC/CSEC because of the unavailability of suitable hardware and software at the Kingstown Technical Institute (KTI).
The PS said that in October 2018, under a Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) project, a contract was signed for the procurement of computers because the CXC had communicated that as of this year, traditional technical drawings would not be accepted.
However, according to Burke, the winner of the initial bid to supply the computers, an Italian firm, was given a three-month period to honour the contract, but at the expiration of the three months they were not able to deliver.
“A decision was made then to terminate the contract and use the second bid because everything was done through a tendering process, but CDB was consulted and they asked that we continue to engage the company to avoid potential litigation, so we did that,” explained Burke.
He said that repeated communication resulted in the Ministry giving the company an ultimatum that if they did not respond in a particular time frame, the contract would be terminated.
“So, they sent a representative here and we expressed our dissatisfaction and we again reiterated our ultimatum with new terms and conditions and under advisement of the CDB; we prepared a new contract giving them a condensed time. That was done in July and they gave us the assurance, but … [the computers were not delivered], and we have since terminated the contract and engaged a second company,” explained Burke.
He added that the new company has given the Ministry the assurance that the computers would be in SVG by January 2020.
Burke said that in the interim, the Ministry has been in communication with CXC about students being allowed to write the exams with use of T-square and other manual tools.
“We spoke with them and wrote them and there is a meeting scheduled for the next two weeks and we have asked the head of the principals’ association to make representation on our behalf.
“We are not the only Caribbean country who is in this position and there are other countries who are unable to do AutoCAD because they don’t have the computers,” said Burke.
Over 200 students at four technical institutes and several secondary schools here have been affected by the unavailability of the computers.