PORT OF SPAIN — A total of 3,300 of the 21,500 Lenovo Thinkpad laptops bought by the People’s Partnership Government, at a cost of $58 million, will be shipped to St. Lucia as part of a government-to-government Memorandum of Understanding, Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh said yesterday.
He made the comment during a telephone interview in response to questions as to why Government had purchased a few thousand more computers for distribution to the students who had sat Secondary Entrance Assessment exam this year.
He said the agreement was the culmination of discussions between the Education Ministry and St. Lucian Education Minister Robert Kennedy Joseph. He said Joseph will arrive next week to sign the MOU for the repayment of $7.9 million for the extra laptops.
While Gopeesingh could not give a date of repayment of the money for the laptops, he was confident it would be “paid back very quickly”.
He said Joseph intended to distribute the 3,300 laptops to Fourth Form students in St. Lucia. He said his ministry would be providing technical support to St. Lucia for its laptop programme. He said he also had offered to provide teacher-training to the St. Lucian Government.
Gopeesingh said the new laptops for this year’s distribution have been purchased at a cost of $2,400 each, which he said was a saving of $450 a unit. He said at the end of this year, 70,000 laptops would have been distributed to secondary school students from Form One to Form Four.
Gopeesingh added all principals at primary and secondary school levels and school supervisors have received laptops. (Guardian)