Release Date: 
Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Ministry of Education, in conjunction with Research In Motion (RIM), is to implement a project that will provide BlackBerry® smartphones to approximately 20,000 teachers at a cost that is expected to be very reasonable.

The project will see both the Ministry and teachers benefiting immensely from the arrangement.

In addition to the devices that will be provided to teachers island wide, a number of services will be provided, including:

  •  A closed user group (CUG) using a unified communications platform to facilitate ‘no cost’ charges for smartphone calls between the Ministry and teachers and among the teacher population.
  •  The ability to send targeted emails and messages with BlackBerry Messenger™ or other instant messaging solutions to all teachers, groups of teachers or individual teachers, as necessary.
  •  Panic button services to teachers, whereby emergency calls are automatically made by the smartphone to designated numbers e.g. the police or fire department.

    New devices issued at the end of the second year of the maximum three-year duration of the project.

Additionally, the possibility of teachers using the smartphones to input information, such as grades and attendance data, into the Ministry’s database management system is being looked at.

Contact: Colin Blair, Director, Communications, Ministry of Education

Telephone: 612-5828/564-7110

Email: [email protected]

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