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Laptop plan could make soon second year gymnasium pupils owners of laptops

(Thursday, December 4, 2008)

ALL second year gymnasium students could soon be the proud new owners of their own laptops following yesterday's Cabinet decision.

According to Education Minister Andreas Demetriou, the Cabinet had approved a proposal to subsidise €350 per student to purchase a laptop.

Demetriou believes that because there are so many children involved, around 8,800, when the proposal is put to tender the prices will be so competitive that the students won't have to put any money towards the purchase.

The idea is for students to use the computers during their computer lessons,

"Second year of gymnasium is a suitable age for this scheme because the children have matured so that they can use technology and considering that today's expected lifespan for a computer is around four years, this will cover their entire secondary education," Demetriou said.

The Cabinet had also approved the immediate implementation of measures to improve the quality of educational services.

He said these include improving the infrastructure of 15 all-day primary schools, upgrading the equipment at special needs schools, special needs units and special needs classrooms with modern equipment and educational games which would better meet their needs, and upgrading playgrounds at 44 nursery schools.

"Finally we will extend the Open School programme to twice as many municipalities and communities as part of the Ministry's policy to open up schools to the community for many reasons but also as a way to deal with antisocial behaviour," said Demetriou.

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