The Office of the Auditor General has released its report entitled An Integrated Information Technology Asset Management audit on the Interactive White Boards in Schools was presented to the Legislative Assembly on July 26, 2022.
The Ministry of Education developed an Education Development Plan in alignment with the Government of Montserrat’s (GoM) national long-term objectives and goals that were established in both the Sustainable Development Plan and the National Information Communications & Technology Policy, Strategy & Implementation (NICT) Plan. Under the focus area of “Learning”, the NICT policy objective is to “…Use ICTs to improve the management and delivery of education services and enhance the learning experience and outcomes throughout the education system…”. Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) were one of the chosen ICT assets that were procured for Montserrat Secondary School, and the Brades and Lookout Primary Schools under various projects.
The use of Interactive Whiteboards for teaching lessons has made learning more enjoyable; interesting; and captured the students’ attention. The Interactive Whiteboards also provide teachers with a different method of engaging students with disabilities, and/or those who have difficulty understanding the learning materials through the traditional way, that is, via visual, auditory, and kinetic elements which are now more vibrant and engaging.
There is a draft ICT Policy; however, it is not a recognised policy for regulating the ICT initiatives undertaken and implemented by the Ministry of Education.
The four all-in-one printers procured with NICT grant funding, were never installed in the Science Labs and classroom for reason(s) that are unclear. During the audit, only one sealed box was observed by the auditors; the storage sites of the remaining three devices could not be verified.
It is urgent and overdue for the Ministry of Education (MoE) to review, update, and officially endorse an ICT Policy, as it is very important to have structured principles to ensure Governance in ICT undertakings.
The Montserrat Secondary School needs to give an account to the MoE about the locations and the operational status of the four all-in-one printers. If they are in working order and are not being used, they should be installed in the Science Labs and classroom with fully functioning IWBs, as per the original purpose they were purchased for with the awarded NICT grant funding.
The Office of the Auditor General has determined that value for money was not achieved for the Government, for the teachers, or for the students and recommend that with corrective action some of the identified benefits for which this project was initiated will be realised.
The report in its entirety can be found at the Montserrat Public Library or by requesting an electronic copy from the Office of the Auditor General.
Integrated ITAM Audit on Interactive White Boards in Schools – Final July 2022