There is a move afoot to equip all secondary school students with E-readers. This is a great idea because this technology actually cuts costs over the long run when compared with physical textbooks and provides the latest learning materials.
That’s the upside. The downside is that E-Readers are more fragile than textbooks, and are more likely to be stolen. We’re not even talking about the problems with procuring and supporting the technology.
I can’t think of one educational procurement programme that has actually turned out well with the current administration and I don’t see why we should have faith that this one will be any better. I hope we have some rules in place before we spend millions on these devices with no controls about bidding and conflicts of interest etc.
(name withheld upon request)
E-readers for all
A move is now on to provide all 23,000-plus secondary school children in Barbados with e-readers.
The initiative, which is being led by the heads of the islandâ€™s 22 secondary schools, is designed to eliminate the headaches of issuing each child with nearly two dozen textbooks annually, and eliminate the tens of thousands each institution spends of book replenishment each year.
One of the education administrators who expressed delight at the progress made on the project so far noted they were aiming to have the e-readers in students hands not later than September 2014, â€œbut sooner than that if all goes according to plan.â€
One principal explained that while the evolving of the Textbook Revolving Loan Scheme into an e-reader based programme started with principals who clearly understoodÂ the benefits such a shift would bring, they all recognised that before it becomes a reality the Ministry of Education would have to be brought on board as a major player.
In the meanwhile though, the principals explained that given the continued dramatic fall in the prices of e-readers versus the escalating cost of traditional textbook, the change would significantly enhance the mechanism for supplying students with reading material…
…continue reading this article at Barbados Today