Screen_Shot_2015-02-26_at_7.55.58_PMToday, over 280 students from the Muffles Junior College were recipients of ASUS brand tablets, an initiative of the Ministry of Education and the Government of Belize to bridge the gap between education and technology. And while the FREE GIFT may seem like a genuine offertory from the Government, much public debate surrounds the initiative since many students have forfeited the item and sold it to the highest bidder. We asked Party Leader Francis Fonseca for commentary on the initiative and while he is not opposed to the program he did infact set the record straight citing that the plan was not a “well thought out one” and a cheap political gimmick since the information collected by the Ministry has been passed on to the UDP Secretariat where they are now calling and emailing students to vote. Information he says that the students gave the Ministry in confidentiality, here is that clip…

Honorable Francis Fonseca – Party Leader, PUP

“We launched it as far back as 2007 at St. Mary’s school the one laptop per child policy  and it was a part of our manifesto of 2008, it was a part of our manifest in 2012 so we are not opposed to any idea that brings our young people closer to technology, that is important, the link between technology and education is critical important but the whole idea has really failed what we wanted to do and what should have been done was to ensure that those devices in this case they used tablets that those tablets had on some text books on them and that was the PUP concept, that the tablets would contain the text books and other resource educational material, that is the proper way to do just to give a student a tablet does very little to help them, those tablets if it was properly done, if it was not a cheap election gimmick it would have been properly planned and would have gotten the resource material on it the text book, make sure the teacher had their text books on it that is how it should have been done and in addition to that I just learnt today that the ministry of education has turned over to the United Democratic Party to the secretariat of the UDP the forms that the students filled out with their personal information; their e-mail accounts their phone numbers and what the UDP secretariat has done with that they are now using that personal data that the student signed in confidence with the ministry of education to now call these students and email these students asking them to vote for the UDP on election day I mean that is absolutely disgraceful and scandalous and should be condemned by all right thinking Belizeans, so we support the giving of the tablets but it was poorly done and it was not thought out and again the incompetence of this government is very, very staggering.”

Due to a delay this morning, late this evening, the distribution of tablets was still on-going at the school’s campus.

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