Categorized | National News

$2 Million for Preschool Technology

In keeping with its mandate to advance education through technology, the Ministry of Education has allocated $2 million to invest in laptops for two preschools in New Providence.

Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd revealed this during his contribution to the 2017/2018 Budget Communication debate in the House of Assembly last week.

“Technology can serve as an effective tool in the teaching and learning process of young children. Preschoolers can benefit in many ways from the inclusion of technology in the classroom. These devices can be used by the teacher in the sharing of information, instruction of skills and concepts and provision of practice opportunities for students,” said Mr. Lloyd.

“Preschoolers can use computers and other technological devices to acquire knowledge, learn and practice skills in groups and individually. This provides an effective strategy to meet the differentiated needs of children at all levels from the challenged to the exceptional learner. Laptops, LCD projectors, tablets, interactive devices and internet access should be included in all preschool classrooms.”

Meanwhile, as a developed country a part of the United Nations, one primary goal is that by 2030, all of the nation’s children should have access to a mandatory quality early childhood development care and pre-primary education as the springboard for primary education.

“In keeping with this mandate, to ensure the use of technology in preschool classrooms for individual students, my government is committing $2 million in the 2017/2018 budget for the introduction of a pilot programme in two New Providence preschools which will provide tablets for each student to be used for the delivery of instruction,” he said.

“This programme will be carefully monitored and evaluated over the next two years with a view to expanding the programme incrementally over the next four years.”

The minister of education also touched on the ministry’s goal of Universal Preschool Education, making it mandatory for all children between the ages of three and five years to attend preschool.

“This education is offered through public and private institutions on all major islands. However, presently, records show that more than half of the preschoolers do not attend preschool prior to first grade. In fact, there are only 550 preschoolers registered in the public system,” Mr. Lloyd noted.

“In order to ensure that all children have access to a quality preschool programme, specific attention must be given to the expansion and development of this foundational level. It is the commitment of this govnment to mandate by law, when capacities are available, that all two-and-a-half to three-year-olds must be in a Ministry of Education approved preschool programme.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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