– active plan necessary for access

All educators and students can now access free online learning material through the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT), following an agreement between the company and the Ministry of Education to zero-rate several educational websites.

GTT Director of Inside Plant, Mr. Ian La Fargue told DPI that the initiative would benefit people on the company’s network with an active mobile data plan.

“They will need a data plan on their phone to access the sites, but that data plan will not be charged for the free sites or sites that are zero-rated,” Mr. LaFargue said.

He also said if a website takes users beyond the page and to other sites such as YouTube, data charges will apply.

“We can’t zero-rate YouTube channels because YouTube gives what we call a dynamic URL [Uniform Resource Locator]. Nothing is constant with YouTube, so we can’t zero-rate any one URL with YouTube,” he explained.

Further, the Director said that the plan does not apply to users on devices such as computers and tablets, as it is specific to devices that are directly connected to GTT’s mobile network.

Coverage also expands to hinterland areas for students within the company’s range to ensure that they too can access e-learning.

Earlier today, GTT announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry for the initiative, which is already operational.

The Ministry had also partnered with GTT to zero-rate websites for teachers to access training in the technology used to administer online education, to boost education delivery in Guyana amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guyana has some 10,000 teachers and more than 100,000 students in the education system, as well as hundreds of teachers in training, who will be able to benefit.

The zero-rated websites include profuturo.education, essentialschools.org, code.org, wikipedia.org, educationgy.org, guyanalearningchannel.com and hydromet.gov.gy.