The press conference was held to update the media on the progress of the One-to-One I-Literacy Laptop project which will see approximately 6500 high school students receiving their own laptop fitted with Microsoft Software and programmes.
Minister Phillip stressed that government’s partnership with software giant Microsoft Corporation, on the One-to-One I-Literacy Project, is a practical step that will redound to the benefit of high school students in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Microsoft’s General Manager for the Region, Pradeep Raman, said he was pleased to be in St. Kitts to celebrate the partnership between his company and the Federal Government.
“I congratulate Honourable Minister Phillip and Honourable Minister Carty on this Government’s bold and ambitious effort to go down the path of the I-Literacy One-to-One Initiative,” Mr. Raman stated, noting that he shared the sentiments of Minister Phillip of unleashing the creative potential of young people.
To reinforce his point, Mr. Raman referred to the success story of Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates, who at age 13, was inspired to do more with technology after his school got a computer lab. The visiting official expressed his hope that similar circumstances can be duplicated here and pledged his company’s continued support to this project.
Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Crios Freeman, expressed that the laptop project is symbolic of the on-going evolution of the twin-island state.
He referenced this morning’s opening of what is arguably one of the largest individual farms in the country, at Capisterre in the rural area, and stressed in the press conference that in the capital, Basseterre, the Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft is symbolic.
“I think this represents the full spectrum of the journey that our country has taken – moving from an agricultural-based economy into a more knowledge oriented, service based economy,” Mr. Freeman said, noting the continued diversification of the economy. He added that the computers will help to bridge the digital divide and allow locals to compete in the globalized world.
The I-Literacy One-to-One Laptop Project will provide high school students and teachers with HP personal computers and usher in greater use of technology in executing the curriculum. Microsoft is providing full, low cost access to its operating system Windows 7, as well as the popular Office 2010 suite.