On August 20, 2010, AUA donated twenty-five Dell™ laptops pre-loaded with DigiClass™ software to the community of Antigua & Barbuda. At an event on AUA’s campus, dignitaries from the Antigua & Barbuda government, including Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and Minister of Public Information & Broadcasting E. Mansoor, and AUA administration and faculty attended. Among AUA attendees, were President Neal Simon and Executive Dean – Antigua Campus & VP of Student Affairs Dr. Jagbir Nagra.
“It’s not often that we can have a Prime Minister in our school seats,” said Dr. Nagra.
Dr. Nagra, with the assistance of AUA’s Director of IT, Barrymore Warren, explained the capabilities of Digiclass™. Originally developed by Manipal University as an extensive educational program, DigiClass™ is multimedia software that can be loaded into computer labs that enhance traditional teaching methods. The audiovisual component of the software allows for better comprehension and retention of learning materials through cognitive learning. Typical Math & Chemistry lessons were shown to the audience to demonstrate the program’s features.
Simon followed by proclaiming that he wants to help make Antigua & Barbuda the educational center of the Caribbean. He explained that the software on these laptops is used worldwide and, since the interface is so accessible, it can be employed at the primary grade levels.
“I hope that the people that enjoy these laptops and its software will one day become AUA students,” said Simon.
The next speaker, Prime Minister Spencer, thanked AUA for donating the laptops. He was pleased that AUA has been supportive and hopes that there will be many more projects like this to come. He declared that the laptops will be used not just by teachers and schools but also by the Antiguan community.
“I wish to make Antigua & Barbuda not only the educational capital of the Caribbean but the technological capital as well,” said Prime Minister Spencer.
The Prime Minister handed off the proceedings to Senior Education Officer Clare Browne, a representative from the Ministry of Education, Culture & Youth Affairs division. He said that the Ministry of Education will maximize the use of these computers.
“I was so impressed by the demonstration; I wanted to be a student again,” said Browne.
The event ended when Simon, on behalf of AUA and Chancellor of Manipal University and Chairman of the Manipal Board Dr. Ramdas Pai, ceremonially handed over a laptop to Prime Minister Spencer, who then handed it over to Browne to distribute laptops to the Antiguan community. Simon ended the presentation by thanking everyone in attendance and the people who made AUA and this day possible.