Opposition Proposes PETSS Program to Secure Tablets in Schools

Release Date: 
Monday, April 20, 2015 - 20:00

Opposition Spokespersons Dr. Andrew Wheatley (Science, ICT and Digital Economy Development) and Senator Kamina Johnson Smith  (Education and Youth) are today calling on Minister Phillip Paulwell to urgently take up the suggestion made by Dr. Wheatley in his recent sectoral debate contribution to help to reduce student’s circumvention of security measures put in place to prevent access to inappropriate content on tablets.

Dr Wheatley said: “I am recommending a rewards program called the Program for Enhancing Tablet Security in Schools (PETSS). PETSS will see rewards being given to students who discover security gaps and bring them to the attention of their teachers and the project administrators.”

Senator Johnson Smith said she supported Dr. Wheatley’s recommendation in light of increasing reports of students working around the security measures that were put in place to prevent access to inappropriate content on the tablets.

She pointed out that even before the programme had been launched, the Opposition had questioned the Minister on issues of security of the tablet devices, including the matter of access to inappropriate content.

She continued: “We were assured that there was nothing to be worried about as the necessary safeguards were put in place, but the ingenuity of our children’s young minds has again been demonstrated, and major security gaps discovered in what was deemed a bullet-proof system.  If the programme is to succeed in its educational goals, then proper use of the tablets must be safeguarded." 

Dr Wheatley added: “We should encourage these young minds and engender an ethical hacker mentality instead of a unethical hacker mentality“
He explained further "The value in a program like this is that the users of the technology become contributors to the success of the technology.  This is in keeping with the Opposition’s view that we must cultivate a culture of being not only consumers of technology but producers as well.”

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