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SPECIAL NEEDS STUDENTS BENEFIT FROM CHINESE DONATION
Thursday 16th February 2012

Students with learning disabilities stand to benefit from what is being described as a “Tangible Donation” made by the Chinese, towards the advancement of Information and Communication Technology in Antigua and Barbuda.
 
Three hundred and ninety Lenovo laptops were donated to the Ministry of Education on Thursday, by Chinese Ambassador Liu Hanming, on behalf of his government, delivering on a promise made more than a year ago.
 
At a handover ceremony on Thursday in the secretariat of the Minister of Education, Sports, Youth & Gender Affairs Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro, Ambassador Liu Hanming said he was pleased to deliver the systems on behalf of the People’s Republic of China, adding that “it is the young generation that will be the future of the country, and so the knowledge gained will be important to them, and the computers will be good gifts that will bring them (students) closer to developments around the world.”
 
Ambassador Liu re-affirmed his government’s intention to further deepen an almost 30 year relationship that exists between the two countries.
 
In accepting the gifts, an elated Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro said the delivery of the laptops will significantly boost the existing “One Laptop Per Child” programme which was conceptualized by Prime Minister Spencer and the Education Minister.
 
“The laptops help eager young minds to become digital natives who are more informed and engaged in their classrooms and their community.
 
“This One Laptop Per Child initiative will compliment what the Ministry of Information is currently doing along with partners LIME in equipping our teachers with their own laptops and connectivity. This is a significant step in the very big picture, that broader vision of ensuring wide-scale access of both teachers and students to the vast technological landscape and ultimately enhancing the way we teach and learn.”
 
On hand to witness the handover was Minister of Foreign Affairs; Prime Minister Dr. Baldwin Spencer who remarked that his government is well on its way towards ensuring each student receives a laptop. He said the Chinese has begun the process in a small way, but he anticipates that the People’s Republic of China will play a greater role in contributing to the initiative, along with other stakeholders.
 
With Antigua and Barbuda and the PRC moving towards 30 years of diplomatic relations, Spencer pledged his government’s continued support to the Chinese Government and the one China Policy, stating that the relationship between the two states will be further strengthened.
 
The 390 laptops valued at 3 million RMB, will be configured and distributed among special educational needs students, to assist in enhancing the quality of education they currently receive.
 
It was during a state visit to Antigua and Barbuda in 2010 that Chinese State Councilor; Madame Liu Yangdong pledged her government’s assistance in providing the computers. (Ends)
 
 
In Photo: Chinese Ambassador Liu Hanming and Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro sign the agreement for the delivery of the laptops.


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