The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ReadyTV for the development, management and distribution of digital educational channels, as part of an eHomeSchool Network.

Speaking in the House of Representatives on May 5, Minister with oversight for the Ministry, Hon. Karl Samuda, said the agreement will ensure that those students who have no access to the Internet will continue to receive instructions.

He informed that the arrangement will benefit 300 communities in the first instance before a full islandwide roll-out.

“They are launching a Primary Exit Profile (PEP) channel next week with live classes for grades 4, 5 and 6. ReadyTV will also provide Internet via satellite to remote communities and schools, which other providers are unable to reach. Installation will begin in the first 100 of these communities this week. They are in fact in the field now making those preparations,” Mr. Samuda said.

He also informed that the Ministry is now finalising arrangements with other radio stations to further increase the offerings available to students.

“The desire is that these students will have this facility free of cost, and it is for that reason that we are hoping that all the service providers will come on board and sharpen their pencils to the best of their abilities,” Mr. Samuda said.

“But if the service is available and the providers of the service who are disinclined to go into the deep hinterlands of the country, then those locations where ReadyTV is able to go in and give access, then we should adjust the price so that everybody in that entire area gets the service. If not free, certainly at a very reasonable cost, but for the children it must come to them free of cost,” he added.

The Ministry has identified 31,000 students from 238 communities who have no Internet connection.