Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said on Monday the distribution of laptops to students was an important step towards the full digitisation and transformation of the local learning environment.
At a laptop distribution ceremony to primary and secondary school principals at the Ministry of Education, St Vincent Street, Port of Spain, Gadsby-Dolly said the gesture marked a critical moment in the digital transition of the education system.
She was optimistic the laptops would better facilitate the learning experience by giving children an important tool to succeed in a post-covid19 world.
"Before this time we would tell them to put away their devices, put away your phones and get down to your work.
"This is the time where they have to pick those things up and use those tools effectively to be able to learn, and therefore device donation, device procurement and making sure all our students have a device is critical for them to move with the direction of the education sector, both globally and in TT.
"When you speak about the optimisation of our school learning management system, the development of people, dealing with the learning loss in mathematics and grammar through provisions of service online and digitising all of our school records, we speak about that not in the far distance. We speak about it now and, as we speak about that, to give our children a chance to succeed.
"It's more than just a device. It's a symbol of digital transformation that our children are now equipped to move into."
Gadsby-Dolly said while providing the devices was critical to the success of distance learning, she also gave credit to teachers and the ministry's support staff for training teachers in how to use the devices properly.
A total of 4000 laptops were distributed to principals on Monday.
Minister of Public Administration and Digital Transformation Allyson West also noted the importance of laptops in enhancing the learning experience and urged teachers and students to make full use of them.
"I would like to encourage, the principals, teachers and the students to get creative.
"The laptop is not only a tool on which you attend class and learn. It gives you the opportunity to broaden your horizons, to change how you learn and how you teach."
West said her ministry was committed to fulfilling its mandate to completing the digital transformation of all sectors, including education.