Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Mohammed Al-Fares said the cost for distribution of tablet devices to students is KD 26,390,254. In response to the question of MP Mubarak Al-Harees about the project, Al-Fares affirmed the ministry has intensified its efforts to ensure successful implementation of its development programs in the interest of students and the entire educational sector. He added the ministry is keen on improving the quality of education in line with global developments in this field.
He disclosed the tablet device project is in accordance with the national strategy for introduction of technology in the educational sector which was launched in 2010. He said the distribution of tablet devices to students is one of many ways to support the educational sector and transform it from the stage of teaching to the level of creativity, interaction and skills development.
He explained this is related to the plan to reduce weight of school bags, confirming the tablet devices will contain several educational and training applications; allowing communication between students, teachers, guardians or parents and the management of schools through the electronic gateway for students in the secondary level.
The minister revealed the project is currently in the evaluation stage in order to determine its objectives and affirm its viability, clarifying there is no truth in the allegation that the distribution of tablet devices was suspended by the administrations of schools. He said the ministry is updating the software to install the latest version of Microsoft in the tablets. He added the tablets contain electronic pouch, interactive secondary level curriculum approved by the assistant undersecretary for public education affairs, technical instructions for various subjects, Microsoft Office, Net Support School, e-Chapter Management Program that allows teachers and students to communicate effectively while teachers can send and prepare exam questions to save time and effort as well as to do away with printing papers. Meanwhile, Assistant Undersecretary for Commercial Control and Consumer Protection in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Eid Al- Rashidi said the ministry, in cooperation with its social affairs and labor counterpart and the Union of Consumer Cooperative Societies, rejected the request of some food companies to increase prices of their products.
He added the ministry has intensified inspection campaigns in cooperative societies, central markets, shops and other establishments to protect consumers. He explained the ministry compares current prices of commodities with those in the previous period to uncover unjustified price hikes. He said the ministry assigned more commercial inspectors in different locations to quickly respond to consumer complaints made through hotline number 135 and the external centers.
He confirmed that the ministry has adopted several mechanisms to implement Consumer Protection Law No. 39/2014 properly, indicating a committee was formed to study typical contracts. He said the committee prepared a model for some sectors and it is currently studying the possibility of unifying the contract for car rental offices. On the role of the National Committee for Consumer Protection in dealing with unjustified price hikes, Al- Rashidi clarified this is not under the jurisdiction of the committee; asserting the ministry deals with the issue in accordance with Law No. 10/1979 on supervision of goods, services and crafts.
SOURCE : ARABTIMES