Believe it or not, but in spite of the thrust of devices being donated by corporate TT, a large number of students are yet to receive devices for online school, and this is already posing a challenge going into this new school term, which is set to open on Monday.
According to the Ministry of Education (MoE) approximately 30,000 students are still without access to devices to undertake schooling.
In an interview with Sunday Newsday, Education Minister Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said, “Through the adopt-a -school programme, over 21,000 devices have been pledged, of which 10,000 have been delivered thus far. The government’s procurement process for 20,000 laptops has begun through iGovTT.”
She said data in October showed that the initial figure of students without devices which stood at nearly 65,000 has decreased through government’s adopt-a -school initiative.
Gadsby-Dolly told the media house that “As expected, the response to online learning has been mixed. It is challenging for everyone; however, there has been almost complete acceptance of this methodology as our best option to continue the education of our children, and general agreement that it gets easier with practice and experience.
“As more students connect to the online environment, the issues surrounding resources and management of packages is expected to decrease. This has remained quite difficult throughout the first term, especially in the secondary school system. Some schools and parents, however, have handled it masterfully,” she said.
Gadsby-Dolly pointed out a few issues, like the management of the package-distribution system, continued training and access to online resources for teachers, parents and students, the need for completion of physical labs for school-based assessments (SBAs), the logistics of school administration and supervision in the remote environment and conversion of data-collection instruments to online systems.
She said the ministry is set to continue with online training for teachers this month, with an emphasis on content creation through the NotesMasters software, as well as online training for students and parents.