Chairman of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin) Professor David Tennant is assuring the public that the 7,500 tablets to be used to collect data from individuals for the 15th Population and Housing Census using will be erased before the devices are handed over to the Ministry of Education and Youth for distribution under the Tablets in Schools Programme.
The tablets were obtained through a partnership with e-Learning Jamaica Limited (e-LJam) and the Ministry of Education and Youth.
Tennant made the announcement at the official launch of the 2022 Population and Housing Census, held on August 10 at the AC Hotel Kingston.
“The 2022 census stands out from previous ones as this year Statin will be incorporating the use of technology in data collection and processing. This means that over 7,500 census takers will be using tablet computers for the first time in the census history in Jamaica to administer the census questionnaires,” Tennant said
He noted that the donation of the tablets following the data collection period is the institution’s initiative to further contribute to national development by positively impacting the lives of future generations, through technology.
“Census 2022 will not only benefit the country through data collection, but will see students across the island being provided with an opportunity to access technological devices which will enable them to operate more seamlessly in their schooling and be of overall benefit to the country,” he said.
Also speaking at the launch event, Prime Minister Andrew Holness praised Statin on the decision to repurpose the tablets, calling the initiative an excellent idea and an example on how government agencies should contribute to nation-building.
“We are going to wipe those tablets clean of the data collected, which means there will be a total reset of the devices before they are put in the schools and this is an excellent move,” Holness said,
The 2022 census is to begin on September 13 and is expected to end in December 2022. Information will be collected islandwide on individuals, households, housing quality, among other topics.
This data will be used to aid in policy decisions such as government programme implementation, as well as business expansion and development.