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Laptops for lease | Education Minister unveils plans to facilitate e-learning locally

Dr Wheatley

As the territory’s education sector moves from physical classrooms to an e-learning platform due to the challenges posed by the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said plans are afoot to introduce a loan programme to allow students to access laptops.

Speaking during a remote-learning orientation session via a live Facebook broadcast on Tuesday, the minister said parents are required to pay for their children to get access to a device. 

If a device is damaged by a student, Dr Wheatley said a replacement cost must be paid. That student will not be permitted any further participation in the programme unless the cost is paid.

“It is important to say that this is a loan programme and so these devices will remain the property of the Government of the Virgin Islands so that other persons who are coming into the system will have access to these devices,” the minister added.

Rent to own

Dr Wheatley also said the government is ‘entertaining and exploring’ the rent-to-own aspect where parents can pay ‘something’ on a monthly basis so that their children can own a government laptop.

He said while there is a possibility for that to happen, further announcements on it will be coming soon. 

“Right now we are establishing just the loan programme,” he said.

Other measures

In the event that there are insufficient laptops for everyone, Dr Wheatley said other measures will be put in place.

“We would have to print pockets of work for students to be able to do at home with their parents or caretakers. We are going to supplement those pockets with videos for persons who would be able to access the internet,” the minister said.

He added: “For persons who do not have access to any internet we are exploring the possibility of giving persons a jump drive with videos that they can plug into their smart televisions or any other device that can take a jump drive.”

Wheatley also encouraged persons with other suggestions on how students with limitations can be accommodated to come forward.

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9 Comments

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  1. Therotivator says:

    More money for the good bishop?

    God bless.

  2. Care. says:

    Transfer lab fees to labtop fees

  3. oh yeah says:

    Government laptops should e free because they were bought with taxpayers money….NOT VIP’S MONEY

    Like 3
    Dislike 2
    • @oh yeah says:

      Before this current government you all fully well know the laptops were on loan from the Department of Education and they were not free. At registration of each school year the laptops had to be paid for in full else students could not get them.

  4. Insider says:

    I hope these laptops better than then refurbished ones that the teachers got

  5. ?? says:

    So parents of ESHS students paid over $100 for the VIDE and they are now useless? We still need to now get laptops? Why? I thought the reasoning behind the VIDE was to easily facilitate more online based learning? Or is it because the VIDE is a Walwyn initiative its no longer being used despite all the monies spent,

    Like 2
    Dislike 4
    • @?? says:

      The VIDE has the students textbooks installed on them and can be used. However, they do not have the Cisco Webex or the Google classroom installed on them.

  6. island man says:

    Where can we apply for a laptop for our children??

  7. Question says:

    Are they (laptops) going to sprayed with Lysol and wrapped in plastic?

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