Telecommunication providers in the British Virgin Islands are coming to the aid of students by providing special packages to accommodate online learning in the territory.
Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said in the House of Assembly on Thursday, April 16, that this follows talks with Flow, Digicel and CCT.
Flow had previously announced that Flow Study – an online learning platform – would be made available to all students in the BVI for a period of three months free of charge.
According to Minister Wheatley Flow has now also agreed to discount internet packages for students.
Digicel in the meantime has indicated that they are willing to provide laptops to particular educational institutions in the territory.
Zero rate for educational webpages
Dr Wheatley also said those two telecoms providers will not be charging for data or making any additional charges for usage on websites that will be used by for local online studies.
“Both Flow and Digicel have agreed to ‘zero-rate’ on specific education websites that are key to our online programme. Zero-rating sites will allow unlimited access without subtracting from our data plans,” Dr Wheatley explained.
“CCT has a different billing structure, and students will be able to use any educational site without additional charges. We are in active discussions with all three telecommunication providers on additional areas of support,” Dr Wheatley added.
1,000 laptops donated in less than 1,000 days
The minister said other organisations have been contributing to the sector through the donation of laptops for students without access to such devices.
“To the generous patronage of Unite BVI and Bitter End Yacht Club, our senior students have been gifted with 132 Chrome Books to assist students without access to devices,” he said.
“This means that Unite BVI and their partner donors such as Falconwood and the McLean Foundation have contributed 1,000 Chrome Books in less than 1,000 days,” Dr Wheatley added.
Adopt a School
The Education Minister further urged corporate BVI to join the ministry’s Adopt-a-School programme to see where they can help less fortunate students smoothly transition into the new online learning era.
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