(Trinidad Guardian) Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh says laptops, expected to be delivered to new secondary school students in September, will cost US$150 less than last year. He said the laptop distribution process should be done in two weeks next month and hopefully not three months like last year. A total of 17,327 pupils wrote the Secondary Entrance Assessment on March 29. Gopeesingh said there was a separate tender for the manufacturer and another for distribution. He added: “The tenders were closed around July and there were nine individual firms and companies that tendered and two had been selected by an evaluation committee.” He said the contracts were being negotiated and expected to be completed in a few days. He was speaking at the post-Cabinet news briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair, on Thursday.
Gopeesingh said: “My initial information, coming from the evaluation committee is that the preferred bidders, two of them, the cost of a laptop is approximately US$150 less than last year. “Last year it was close to US$600 a computer and this year we believe the computer cost is close to US$450 with more specifications added on and more software packages added from Microsoft.” He said 14 packages would be infused into the hardware and most likely Government would receive the computers in red, white and black.