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Jan 17, 2003

Teachers’ turn to receive computers

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Virtually all of the computers in the government/Intelco internet in schools project have been installed for the direct benefit of students… but today it was the teacher’s turn to get wired, specifically the headquarters of the Belize National Teachers Union in Belize City. B.N.T.U. President John Pinelo says that computer education will only be as good as the quality of the teaching.

John Pinelo, President, B.N.T.U.

“One of the projects we are working on right now has to do with the training of teachers, particularly with the usage of computers. After they have learned the basics about computers we hope to expand on that and teach them to use the computer as a teaching tool.”

“So these teachers will be able to help the children at the school level by teaching the students to use the computers, and also to do some of the things that they ordinarily would not be able to do without the access to the computers. For example, sometimes they have to do research about insects, historical things, sometimes science, even maths.”

But placing computers in educational institutions is just the first phase of a more comprehensive programme envisioned by the Ministry of Education. The plan is for administration to also benefit from the new technology.

Mustafa Touré, Ministry of Education

“Maybe a month and a half ago we had a software firm coming from the United States to show us the software they have that would allow teachers to account for their students, give them homework, even give students their own email addresses and parents could leak in and see what their students are learning. That’s another part of what we want to do. But the major part of it is to allow the principals, who are responsible for giving the information to the government on who’s in school, what teachers are there, what are the problems they might have, also so we can see the performance, like their P.S.E. scores, the C.X.C. scores, all of these we want to put in this wide area network.”

The ministry’s Mustafa Touré says the computer programme in Belize has already proven more successful than those being implemented around the region.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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