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One laptop per child initiative shelved due to TC Winston: Akbar

May 27, 2020 4:43 pm
Education Minister Rosy Akbar. [File Photo]

The one laptop per child initiative has been shelved due to the impacts of Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

While responding to a question posed by Opposition MP Lenora Qereqeretabua on the update of the initiative, Education Minister Rosy Akbar said the initiative was running smoothly then and was piloted in three primary schools in Suva in 2014.

The three schools were Draiba Primary School, Nabua Primary School and Navesi Primary School.

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Akbar says the initiative was to be done in phases and in 2016, Tropical Cyclone Winston caused extensive damage in 495 schools costing the government over $200million resulting in the diverting of funds for rehabilitation.

“We were progressing well until the nation was unfortunate to be hit be a Catergory 5 cyclone and all hands on deck came on board for the rehabilitation efforts. There was a shift in the government priorities and as a result, ministry until to date has not been able to commence with the other phases of this project.”

Akbar says the cyclone took its toll on the e-learning programme and the main priority then was to ensure that schools resume.

“We halted everything to response to TC Winston because our children were homeless and hungry, sitting in tents on the wet floors. The main priority of the government is to put a roof over their heads and books in their hands.”

The Education Ministry is working on other forms of supplementary educational resource so that students still can have access to education during their extended break because of the COVID-19 crisis.

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