By Shermain Bique-Charles
Low bandwidth is one of the greatest challenges hindering the smooth installation of Internet connectivity in schools across the country, Minister of Education Michael Browne said.
Browne was speaking at the annual Principals Meeting organised by the Ministry of Education on Thursday.
According to him, the problem is also affecting other member states within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
“They are currently in the works of running an additional fiber optic cable that will run from Miami, land in St Thomas and then it disperses to the rest of the Eastern Caribbean. It is a serious challenge that we face as a region,” he said.
He said the Ministry of Information is currently doing assessments to see how quickly various schools could be tied into a fiber network that is being laid island wide.
“Once the Ministry of Information does their assessment, they would move to ensure all schools have at least a reliable amount of Internet access.
“We are in the process of assessing devices because teachers have asked for additional devices.
Browne said the ministry is also exploring special Internet rates for teachers.
“There have been some preferential rates for teachers and other educators for Internet. We have asked APUA for them to examine their books and see how they can offer a discounted rate. As soon as they do, it will be something we will make public,” he added.