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Education Minister Apologizes for E-Book Procedural Issues

Wednesday 30th January, 2019-The Minister of Education, Science and Technology has broken his silence following the fall out over the licensing fees for the E-Book Project, taking responsibility for the flaws that were discovered.

A few weeks ago, Prime Minister Gaston Browne revealed there were serious procedural issues in the roll out of the programme, along with the high licensing fees attached to the electronic devices that his government did not intend to pay FortunaPix, the company tasked with digitizing public school textbooks.

At that time, the head of government made clear that the minister would have to accept responsibility for what was unearthed.

There was no reaction from Minister Michael Browne until this afternoon, when he told the House of Representatives during the budget debate that he accepted full responsibility for the issues and apologized for not keeping his colleagues in the know.

Critics have labelled it a scandal and have been calling for the resignation of the minister of education, or for him to be fired for mishandling the programme. Minister Browne spoke directly to those critics from the parliamentary chamber.

inHouse

The licensing fee agreement would have resulted in FortunaPix being paid $ 5 million annually. But the company was told in no uncertain terms by the prime minister that the amount will not be honoured. Discussions began thereafter with a view to reducing the cost.

In 2016, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and FortunaPIX inked a deal for the commencement of the digitization of textbooks used in public secondary schools.

A total of 30 textbooks covering 15 subject areas are expected to be digitally converted and accessed through tablets issued to students.

 

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