Concerns have been raised over free tablets being given to Advanced Level students around the country.
The President’s media division said that the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers was granted initially to provide free tablets to Advanced Level students only as a pilot project at National Schools.
The proposal to provide tablets to all A/L students island-wide was presented to the Cabinet in 2017.
The recommendation of the President to this proposal by the Ministry of Education was to not to launch this programme island-wide in a single phase, but to introduce as a pilot project at selected National Schools.
The President was also of the view it is necessary to prevent students from accessing unnecessary websites other than required subject curriculums.
Accordingly, the Cabinet was informed that measures will be taken to restrict web access outside the syllabus. It was also decided to take future steps based on the success of the pilot project. The Cabinet had also recommended to initially commencing this programme as a pilot project at National Schools.
The President’s office said that Rs. 5.5 billion was allocated to provide tablets to students throughout the country. President proposed to reserve required funds for the pilot project and to utilize remaining funds to meet the urgent needs of school equipment such as desks and chairs. President also proposed to state the precise amount of funds required for the pilot project. Hence, the tender called in 2017 should be amended according to the pilot project.
The President is of the view that though it is necessary to disseminate knowledge via modern technology, maintaining discipline among students and using methods suitable to the young minds also equally significant.