Public schools get $12M WiFi upgrade

The educational system in the country is on the cusp of a digital revolution as government signed a multi-million-dollar contract with Bahamas Telecommunication Company (BTC) for fiber optic infrastructural upgrades, and donated 2,500 tablets for teachers and students in public schools nationwide.

The five-year contract will cost an estimated $1 million per month when fully launched, according to Education Minister Jeffery Lloyd, who said $8 million dollars has been set aside in this year’s budget to start the project.  The education minister explained that only $5 million dollars is being used this year.

The contract signing took place Sunday afternoon at the Ministry of Education on University Drive, where education officials underscored the need for the technological advancement. Minister Lloyd said, educators will also utilize technology to engage and encourage the 21stcentury learner.

With 172 public schools nationwide, 60 satellite officers, 60 thousand students and 4,000 teachers, Lloyd said that the project will be carried out in phases, beginning with the infrastructural upgrades.

“This instillation will ensure that each school becomes a smart school and utilize the latest technology to facilitate better and improved learning,” he said.

“It will also enable all schools deprived of specialized teachers to take advantage of distance learning.”

BTC Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Andre Knowles said, the company is pleased to negotiate a deal that will add to the personal development of each child in the country, and help to close the skills gap presently plaguing the labor force.

“We believe that we are not only supplying access to technology but providing students with  the tools they need to thrive in a modern society and to be more competitive,” Knowles said.

By June of next year, Lloyd said, that all school in New Providence will have internet access.