The Regional Secretary for Education and Training of the Regional Government of the Azores guaranteed that the e-school program will continue in the region, although an assessment is being made of the use of Magalhães laptops in the classroom.
The possibility of the Autonomous Region maintaining the distribution of laptops to primary school students had been questioned after the Ministry of Education launched a competition that was limited to the mainland. In fact, the administrative autonomy that the region enjoys means that the decision to continue the program was not in the hands of the Ministry of Education but of the Government of the Azores.
The statement from the Regional Secretariat for Education of the Azores now states that after a meeting between the regional secretary of state, Lina Mendes, and the secretary of state for education, João Trocado da Mata, the continuity of the e-school was guaranteed, as well as the «total articulation between the Government of the Republic and the Autonomous Region of the Azores» in this matter.
The lines of collaboration between the two entities will also be reinforced to ensure access to information systems that allow for optimizing school management in schools, the sharing of educational content and the use of an e-learning system.
Regarding the e-school, however, Lina Mendes admits a redefinition of the model applied after the evaluation that takes place on the use of Magalhães laptops in schools.
It should be remembered that students from the Azores were the last to receive the Magalhães laptop, starting distribution only on June 15, 2009, already in the final stretch of the academic year.
In all, it was planned to distribute 13 thousand laptops, which benefited from an «extra» compared to the models received in the Mainland: a free broadband Internet card, which could be used free of charge in the first two months and which after that period should be charged by the guardians wishing to maintain the service.