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Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly tries out one of the tablets presented to her by TATT board chairman Gilbert Peterson SC during the donation of 800 Huawei tablets for students at TATT’s head office in Barataria yesterday.

Bavita Gopaulchan

Over 20,000 laptops will be procured by the government to distribute to students in need of devices.

Minister of Education, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly told Guardian Media this is estimated to cost taxpayers approximately $50,000,000, the amount allotted by the Finance Minister during the 2021 Budget presentation last month.

According to Dr Gadsby-Dolly, the Ministry of Education has already compiled the list of students in need of devices to be able to continue with online-schooling. She noted, however, a means test is being designed to further filter out those who already received donations. The Minister said she expects that the devices, being procured through the Ministry of Public Administration and Digital Transformation, will be made available “as soon as possible.”

Also promised during last month’s budget was internet access. Finance Minister Colm Imbert indicated that by the first quarter of next year, students will be able to access internet services through MiFi technology. This mobile device, which uses the 3G/4G mobile network, creates a mini wireless hotspot and can be shared among mobile devices within range.

Asked for an update on the MiFi devices, Dr Gadsby-Dolly stated, “this will be addressed in the next two weeks.”