• President’s Media Division clarifies tabs only to be given to selected A/L students
  • Remainder of Rs. 5.5 b to be used to improve schools’ facilities 
  • Tender called in 2017 to be amended to reflect new decision 

Cabinet approval to distribute tabs will only be done as a pilot program to Advanced Level students with the remainder of the Rs. 5.5 billion set to be used for school resources, the President’s Media Division (PMD) clarified yesterday. 

The tender called in 2017 will be revised to reflect this change, the PMD said. 

The proposal to provide tablets to all Advanced Level students island-wide was presented to the Cabinet in 2017. President Maithripala Sirisena’s recommendation of the proposal by the Ministry of Education was to not launch this program island-wide in a single phase, but to introduce it as a pilot project at selected national schools.

“The President was also of the view it is necessary to prevent students from accessing unnecessary websites other than required subject curriculums. Accordingly, the Cabinet was informed that measures will be taken to restrict web access outside the syllabus. It was also decided to take future steps based on the success of the pilot project. The Cabinet, too, recommended to initially commence this program as a pilot project at national schools,” the PMD said.

Rs. 5.5 billion was allocated to provide tablets to students in the country. The President proposed to reserve required funds for the pilot project and to utilise remaining funds to meet the urgent need of school equipment, such as desks and chairs. He also proposed to state the precise amount of funds required for the pilot project. Hence, the tender called in 2017 would be amended according to the pilot project, the statement said. 

“The President is of the view that though it is necessary to disseminate knowledge via modern technology, maintaining discipline among students and using methods suitable for the young minds are also equally significant.”