The 2015-20 Education Development Plan refers to information and communication technologies (ICTs), with no specific definition of the term.
The 2012 Education Act defines ‘distance education’ as “an educational process in which a significant proportion of the teaching is conducted through one medium or a combination of media by persons removed in space or time from the learners”.
There is no reference to the term education technology (EdTech) in government documents.
Constitution and laws: There is no ICT Act.
The 2004 Telecommunications Act includes a provision for universal services (Article 19), which are further regulated in the 2014 Universal Service and Public Telecommunications Regulations. According to the regulations, universal services include: access to the public telephone service, provision of a free telephone directory, provision of a directory inquiry service, and provision of public pay telephones (Article 3).
The 2012 Education Act includes distance education as part of the public education system (Article 2), in addition to including “the understanding of the role of science and technology in society together with scientific and technological skills” as part of the Minister’s objectives (Article 3).
There is no reference to technology in the 1982 Anguilla Constitution Order.
Policies, plans and strategies: There is no ICT policy or ICT in education policy. However, the Education Department is in the process of developing an Educational Technology Policy which addresses the further integration of ICT into the curriculum and guidance to principals and teachers on the use of ICT in education.
The 2020-25 Education Development Plan identifies as part of its overarching priorities ‘Embracing and Optimising Technology and Technological Advances’.
The previous 2015-20 Education Development Plan included as part of the mandate for education the promotion and development of technological and technical education with particular emphasis on information technology. The plan additionally included several objectives to ensure the integration of ICT “in all aspects of school life”.
Digital competency frameworks: There is no digital competency framework for teachers or students.
Changes occurred as a result of COVID-19: When schools reopened, e-learning platforms continued being used.
2.2.1. Technology infrastructure and digital capacity of schools
Electricity: The 2010-20 National Energy Policy aims to ensure universal access to an affordable electricity supply for all Anguillans, with no explicit reference to schools. The 2015-20 Education Development Plan states that electrical wiring systems in schools should be given particular attention given the initiatives being made to integrate ICT into all aspects of the schools.
Computers and devices: The 2015-20 Education Development Plan supports the government in making significant investment to provide computer labs in all schools, donate computers, and establish Virtual Classroom Environments. The plan additionally aimed to ask parents to contribute toward the costs of integrating ICT into the curriculum through a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) scheme with suitable support systems in place for those who are not able to afford their own device. The BYOD scheme was introduced in 2017, with the Education Department granting duty free concession on laptop computers intended for student use as part of the scheme.
During COVID-19 in 2020, the Education Department sourced laptops for students who did not have access to devices, which were distributed on a loan basis. No monetary contribution was expected from parents, unless the laptops were damaged. Additionally, the government approved the removal of custom duty on the importation of laptops for all primary and secondary school students.
Internet connectivity: The 2015-20 Education Development Plan supported the provision of internet access in all areas of the school. In 2017, the government announced that free WiFi for internet access, as well as an online portal that can be used to access and submit work, will be available for all students to use. During COVID-19, the Education Department made an effort to work out arrangements with internet providers regarding internet access for students in need.
2.2.2. Technology and learning environments
The 2012 Education Act makes provision for distance education. During the mandatory school closures to avoid the spread of COVID-19 in March 2020, the Education Department advised teachers to use electronic platforms (where available) for learning continuity. The 2020 Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Education Sector Response and Recovery Strategy Coronavirus (COVID-19), which planned to be implemented at both the regional and national levels over an 18-month period in participating member states (including Anguilla) aimed for countries to transition to a digital learning system and develop a robust sustainability strategy for continuity within the education sector during emergences.
The 2012 Education Act encourages the development of basic knowledge and skills in all persons, which include the skills of problem solving, information processing, computing, critical and creative thinking skills, and an understanding of the role of science and technology in society together with scientific and technological skills (Article 3). The 2015-20 Education Development Plan aims to further improve the quality of teaching and learning by supporting the attainment of required levels of literacy, numeracy and technological skills for all learners, which should be equipped to use relevant competencies at school, at college, at home and for future work.The plan additionally encourages students to take STEM subjects. The 2010-20 National Energy Policy promotes the development of technological education and expertise in the renewable power generation sectors in Anguilla for the support and advancement of a local skill base, while the government has additionally focused on teaching students online safety and security.
The 2015-20 Education Development Plan encourages all teachers to undergo professional development training in the integration of ICT into their teaching practice. Teachers are expected to increasingly integrate ICT into all aspects of their teaching.
2.4.1. Data privacy
Anguilla has yet to enact a comprehensive data protection law. The 2006 Electronic Transactions Act includes a provision on data protection (Article 31), with no explicit reference to schools.
2.4.2. Online abuse and cyberbullying
Anguilla is one of the 14 British Overseas Territories. The education system is centrally governed and regulated at all levels by the Ministry of Social Development, Education and Library. The Education Department is under the Ministry of Social Development, Education & Library and coordinates all efforts at integrating ICT in the education system.
The Department of Information Technology and E-Government Services (DITES), under the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications, Utilities, and Housing supports the Education Department with all ICT aspects in schools , including the provision and donation of computers (which need to be approved by the DITES). ICT services and maintenance (for all computers, labs, internet connectivity, and equipment in schools) is centrally coordinated by the DITES.
The 2015-20 Education Development Plan supports the development of a policy for the use of personal devices in the classroom, which outlines specific responsibilities. This is aimed to contribute towards students being in a position to use a multitude of methods for the gathering and sharing of information.