The Principal of A Dacosta Edwards Primary School, Laureen Hinds, fully backs the use of technology in the classroom.
She says it has been a big plus for students, revealing that since the introduction of tablets at her school three years ago, there have been noticeable improvements.
“Students as well as the teachers are always eager to facilitate their lessons by use of technology. The students use the tablets to assist them with spelling words and so it has improved their spelling and vocabulary for composition writing, so I think it is giving our children the edge,” she said, while expressing her gratitude to the Aron and Christina Foundation, which presented 53 tablets to Class 3 students at the rural school on Monday.
On hand for the occasion was Member of Parliament for St Andrew George Payne, who not only praised the work of the Foundation, but expressed his support for the use of technology in the classroom.
“I am all for it. I did not even agree with the cellphone ban as I believed technology was emerging, so now it is up to the parents to more or less get with it [and] try themselves to know the technology,” Payne said in reference to the ban imposed by Government back in 2009 on the use of cellphones in schools.
Although it was scheduled to be lifted at the start of the school term in September, Minister of Education Ronald Jones has since explained that the new policy was delayed to allow several Government departments to conduct a final review.
Meanwhile, the man behind the Aron and Christina Truss Foundation stressed that promoting and facilitating children’s education at the both the primary and secondary levels remained the main focus of the charity.
Aron Truss said both he and his wife were determined to ensure that Barbadian students were not left behind in today’s technologically driven world.
“Christina and I have children and we are very much aware that there are many children in Barbados who don’t get the same opportunities that our children have, because there are many parents in Barbados that cannot afford to provide their children with a device like this . . . . So we felt that we would provide children with tablets because this is the next stage of education in Barbados and when you are older they’ll be very few jobs that you’ll be able to do without knowing how to handle devices like this,” Truss said.
He also used the occasion to call on Government to exempt charities from paying the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL). He said the tax, which was hiked in this year’s Budget from two to ten per cent, was making it more difficult to continue the initiative.
“When we had done our planning for this academic year and raised funding, it was before the last Budget, before the introduction of the NSRL on tablets and that was unfortunate because it made us incur a ten per cent tax on the purchase of tablets,” he said.