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Education IT

Thai govt starts distributing tablets to students

After months of waiting, Thailand’s One Tablet Per Child (OTPC) project came to reality when Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra officialy kicked of the project on Thursday and handed the first tablet to representatives of first grade students.

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“The government was proud that this policy finally began, as it was an urgent policy that the government announced to the Parliament,” said the PM during the official launch of the OTPC project at the Government House.

The PM added that teachers should assess how much the students have learned from using the tablet PCs. “Teachers should collect data on the students’ learning development when they have studied using the computers,”

Apart from handing the tablets to students, the premier also gave the tablets to educational supervisors, and teachers to mark a start of the project.

Thai government plans to distribute tablets made in China to all first graders in this academic year—which began last month—and extend the distribution to seventh grade students next year.

This scheme is not only about handing out tablet computers to children. We would like to increase knowledge beyond text booksfor our children. That is our goal,” Shinawatra said, adding that she believed the students could swiftly adjust to the technology.

This scheme would benefit pupils in remote areas who lack access to educational and learning materials especially textbooks, she inserted.

The tablets contain all learning necessities for the students required by the Education Ministry, she added.

Regarding the concern over inappropriate use of the device, the PM said: “Children would not be able to access improper online content, saying all inappropriate websites will be blocked,” she confirmed.

At the same event, Information and Communication Technology Minister Gp Capt Anudith Nakornthap said the testing of 2,000 tablets received last week from Chinese firm, Shenzhen Scope Scientific Development, for trials found no problems.

We have already told the company to start production,” Nakornthap said and added that Shenzen Scope can produce about 25,000 units a day and the next batch of 400,000 tablets would reach Thailand at the end of July.

A second procurement contract of 530,000 units worth US$43 million will be signed to purchase more tablets for the remaining of the students.

A training on the use of tablets will be held for 50,000 teachers by Education Ministry.

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