The burden of thousands of primary and secondary children carrying heavy bookbags may come to an end by next year.
The matter came up during yesterday’s Standing Finance Committee into the expenditure of the Education Minister in Parliament.
Chaguanas West MP Ganga Singh said the world was advancing in technology and moving away from the use of textbooks to Ebooks questioning when T&T will following in this direction.
Singh drew reference to the 2020 estimated allocation of $5 million for the textbook rental management unit for primary and secondary schools.
Education Minister Anthony Garcia interjected, saying that Singh’s advice came like a breath of fresh air.
“We are on with everything that you have said. You have made a lot of sense,” Garcia told Singh.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert jumped in, saying Cabinet recently went online with an encrypted system which has eased the burden of ministers, Senators and MPs carrying bulky briefcases whenever they go.
“I can’t imagine why we did not have it before,” Imbert said.
Imbert said he would support any E-programme coming from Garcia’s ministry that would take students to online education and Ebooks.
Minister in the Ministry of Education Dr Lovell Francis said the ministry was moving to unveil a schooling management system soon.
“Where these things will be online and Ebooks... we are already looking at it to be part and parcel of that. This is already in train,” Francis said.
Chaguanas East MP Fazal Karim enquired if educators and teachers can see the introduction of the Ebooks in schools for the “new academic year” in 2020.
“We are working towards that,” Garcia responded.
Cumuto/ Manzanilla MP Christine Newallo-Hosein questioned how the ministry intended to roll out the Ebooks when the People’s National Movement Government had scrapped the laptop initiative.
“You are off the beaten track,” Garcia told Newallo-Hosein telling her that the line item she had raised does not deal with the textbook management unit.