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Education Minister Nyan Gadsby-Dolly makes her way to the Red House to attend yesterday’s sitting of the Parliament.

Gail Alexander

A means test to ascertain students most in need of devices will be launched by April 12, Education Minister Nyan Gadsby-Dolly also said.

She was replying to Opposition member Anita Haynes on why the means test for devices hasn’t been implemented.

Gadsby-Dolly stated, “Government has allocated $50 million for the purchase of devices for students. To ensure that the devices are given to those most in need, a means test must be completed for all applicants.”

She said 20,000 devices have been procured from this allocation, and delivery of the first tranche is expected in April 2021.

“Based on this time frame, the means test will be launched on April 12, which is close enough to the delivery date of the devices so that those who qualify would not also benefit from device donations from other sources as these donations, through the Adopt -A-School Programme, are currently ongoing.”

On whether any plans have been finalised or discussions held to standardise assessments for online classes across various levels, Gadsby-Dolly said the issue of standardised assessments is one which is under intense discussion at this time– the most familiar example being the SEA.

She said, “A committee was recently formed, and should be soon convened, to deal with the form of this national standardised assessment, and the findings of this committee will be used to assist and inform decisions on other standardised assessments such as National Tests and the National Certificate of Secondary Education,”

“However Government’s emphasis is to continue the necessary work to ensure that face- to- face school can resume, in some form, for our children, even as we explore the use of adaptive technology systems to assist those with learning gaps, especially in basic literacy and numeracy skills.”