The vision of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources is to transform Mauritius into an intelligent nation state in the vanguard of global progress and innovation.
In this respect, the Budget Speech of November 2012 announced the intention of Government to provide Tablet PCs to Form IV students.
A high level Steering Committee comprising of Ministry of Education & Human Resources, Ministry of Information & Communication Technology, Ministry of Finance & Economic Development and the Mauritius Institute of Education, was set up to drive this laudable Tablet PC Project.
The Steering Committee came up with specifications for the procurement of 26,100 PC Tablets equipped with educational contents and classroom management software for all Form IV and students (State and PSSA students), Year 4 Prevoc students and Educators.
The tender was launched in July 2013.
The evaluation was carried out by the Central Procurement Board in September/October 2013.
The award of the tender was made on 8 November 2013 to Mauritius Telecom Limited for the provision of 26100 10-inch Android Penta Tablet PCs including educational contents at the cost of Rs 134M.
The delivery of the tablets is to be effected within 8 weeks after the signature of the contract, which takes place today 4 Dec 2013. The Ag. Senior Chief Executive of the ministry, Mr Ram Prakash Ramlugun, and the CEO of Mauritius Telecom Ltd, Mr Sarat Lallah, will sign the contract, in the presence of Minister Vasant Bunwaree.
After the delivery, there will be a period of commissioning for the 26100 tablets as per procurement procedures, after which they will be distributed to schools. The tablets will be provided to Form V students in 2014 (as they were initially meant for Form IV students of 2013).
Features of Tablets
Tablets will be supplied with interactive and multimedia contents for the main subjects (Maths, English and French) as well as options such as science, economics, arts and oriental languages.
Ministry and MIE are proceeding with the preparation of additional offline Learning packages for core subjects used by all students at SC-level (Mathematics, English and French ).
It is to be highlighted that the Tablets will be supplied with security features such as Antivirus, Parental Control and Web Filtering.
The tablets will be provided with full two year warranty.
As announced in the Budget Speech in Nov 2013, an insurance scheme will also be provided for the tablet against a contribution by parents of Rs 650. A call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) was made in November 2013 for provision of insurance, and a tender will be prepared to call for bids for that insurance scheme shortly, upon receipt and analysis of the EOIs. The closing date for the EOIs is Fri 6 Dec 2013.
A training of 60 trainers by MT for the use of the tablets will be held in January 2014, as per provisions of the tender. After this Training of Trainers (ToT) process, there will be a replication of the training to all other educators who will be involved in teaching Form V in 2014.
MIE will also be providing training to Educators on new teaching strategies based on the use of ICT in the classrooms.
The Ministry of ICT is currently preparing a tender for the connection of all secondary schools to broadband high speed internet in 2014. This will enable tablets to be then fully connected and used in classrooms in schools. The tablets will, however, at the start of 2014, be used on an offline basis.
A new tender will be launched in January 2014 for a second batch of about 25000 tablets, this time for use by students of Form IV in 2014.
The Tablet PC project is not a technological Project but an educational one. This project is meant to ensure that learning opportunities are accessible to all, to provide learners with values and skills to further their personal growth, to enhance their critical and exploratory thinking and to encourage them to innovate and to adapt to changes in an increasingly globalised environment.