Cayman Islands Ministry of Education Manages Assets and Protects Devices with Persistence
The Cayman Islands Ministry of Education, Employment & Gender Affairs along with the Department of Education Services are responsible for ten primary schools, three high schools, the Cayman Islands Further Education Center, and a school for students with special needs. The Cayman Islands Government Education system employs more than 500 staff and serves over 5,100 students from Reception (kindergarten) programs to year 12.
The Ministry has approximately 3,000 devices distributed among 6,000 users, with only seven staff. In addition to its Laptops for Students Program, the Ministry also runs a Teacher Laptop Program, issued for the length of the employee’s contract. Like many education administrations, the Ministry has found the introduction of electronic devices to be a motivational and efficient means to improve student learning and research.
These devices are Ministry assets and require an added level of protection. A number of device thefts instigated the search for a solution that would help the Ministry retrieve these devices and serve as a deterrent for future theft. With 3,000 devices spread across more than 6,000 students and teachers, a stolen laptop represented not only a lost investment, but a road block to student progress.
“The key differentiator was Persistence technology, built into the firmware,” said Steven Durksen, ICT Manager. “The first thing a thief will do is reimage the device, so we knew that having that constant connection would be critical to recovering the device.”
The results have been incredible.
“Absolute has worked with law enforcement to help retrieve some of our devices, even devices that called in from neighboring countries. We didn’t realize that Absolute had relationships with law enforcement internationally—it was a pleasant surprise when devices were recovered outside of our region.”
Mr. Durksen elaborated on the success of the tracking and retrieval of the Ministry’s devices: “In the past our procedure would be to complete a police report with our local law enforcement and follow up as the case developed; however, with the addition of Absolute, we work directly with local and international law enforcement to follow up on active cases, freeing up the Ministry to concentrate on other areas of asset management.”
Being an island nation, creating geofences is of incredible value. Setting geographical parameters enables the Ministry to manage its deployment and ensure that devices do not travel beyond the three islands that make up the Cayman Islands.
From an asset management perspective, Absolute has helped reduce manual reporting. “The automated reporting is an easy and effective way for us to monitor our assets. It highlights missing and suspicious devices; it gives us a useful summary. It’s also a great complement to the other management solutions we use,” said Mr. Durksen.