On March 3, 2022, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology
(MoECST) in partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning and NotesMaster, formally launched the Aptus PI Pilot Project at a ceremony held at the Gwen Lizarraga High School in Belize City. In attendance were Hon. Francis Fonseca, MoECST Minister; Mrs. Dian Maheia, Chief Executive Officer; and Ms. Yolanda Gongora, Chief Education Officer. Mr. Dean Dundas, Chief Executive Officer of Notesmaster, and Dr. Tony Mays, Senior Specialist of Open Schools at the Commonwealth of Learning, joined the ceremony virtually.
Aptus PI is a low-cost device that allows educators and learners to connect to digital learning platforms and content without the need for grid electricity or internet access. This mini-PC requires only battery power which can be recharged via grid power or solar charger, as needed. It can host 64GB of educational digital content and facilitate interactive, virtual learning anywhere – whether in a remote rural village or on a vast university campus. The result is a “Classroom Without Walls” that can be set up within minutes and accessed by any learner with a laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Minister Fonseca hailed the initiative as “exciting and one with great potential.” He noted that the project epitomises the vision of the MoECST for the future of education and highlighted that the project will contribute to minimising the digital divide which was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Aptus PI devices will be piloted in the following schools over the course of the following weeks:
1. Corozal Community College (Evening Division)
2. Escuela Secundaria Técnica México (Evening Division)
3. Orange Walk Technical High School
4. San Juan Bautista High School
5. Ladyville Technical High School
6. San Pedro High School (Evening Division)
7. Sadie Vernon Technical High School
8. Gwen Lizarraga Evening Division (Evening Division)
9. Belmopan Adult Education Programme (Evening Division)
10. St. Ignatius High School (Evening Division)
11. Mopan Technical High School
12. Independence High School
13. Ecumenical High School (Evening Division)
14. Julian Cho Technical High School
15. St. Peter Claver Extension (Evening Division)
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