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Going green

On March 31, as I gazed in amazement at the front page of one of our newspapers, it was not the headlines that grabbed my attention but rather the accompanying photo.

Those who looked at that photo may have seen merely the usual politicians who are normally prominently displayed on the front page. However, on closer inspection one can see a pad (e-reader or iPad device) on the lap of Minister of Family, Youth, Sports and Culture, Stephen Lashley.

This, I thought to myself, is what the Government’s “Green Policy” is all about and is good news indeed!

In this same publication I read Dr. Henry Fraser’s comments on the Government stimulus package. Fraser’s words: “The three volumes (green covers symbolising Government’s green policy) weighed ten pounds – as much as a modest paunch – and over a thousand pages of paper with most pages only half covered with print.”

However, let’s get back to the good news. The use of a mobile device such as an e-reader makes piles of sense (and cents) for this reason alone, the “Green Policy” notwithstanding. Imagine how useful such a device is to the speaker at an official function held in the open air. There would be no need to worry about wind blowing the paper or cue cards away.

But I would like to take this one step further by referring to my article published in two of our local newspapers on August 3, 2012 titled eReader to save time and cost. This article refers to the savings that could be incurred and benefits derived from using the e-reader technology to distribute student text books.

The issue on that day as put forth by a number of local educators was that the loaner books used to “last approximately eight to ten years, but they now had to squeeze three to four years” out of them, as they are returned in poor condition by the students.

As I explained in that article using facts and figures, much money and by extension foreign exchange could be saved by the Government if this method of distribution were to be implemented. The side benefits, including students not having to carry many pounds of printed paper on their backs every day, would be substantial.

It is a different student generation today who do not know a life without computers and mobile devices just as the politicians of today do not know a life without radio and television. They too must wonder why they are stuck in a school system which, to a great extent, ignores the technology of today in favour of the “old school” ways.

It is my hope that Minister Lashley is leading the way for other politicians to follow in the future.

— John Everatt

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