April 08, 2020
The Ministry of Education (MOE) in collaboration with its providers, Aliv and BTC, is designing a platform to allow internet-deprived students, or device-challenged students, to access internet capability, get devices, and alternatively view lessons on two dedicated Cable Channels that will be populated with the appropriate content for their use. The Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education informed Parliament that all ‘hands must be on deck’ to assist in advancing the Ministry’s virtual learning activities.
“The problem, for which we do not now have the data, is how many students in our system do not have internet access. Or if they do, do not have a device with which to access the internet, and thus continue with their learning,” said Minister Lloyd.
“We are advised anecdotally, that between 10-20% of our students may be so deprived. If so, we are looking at 10,000 students in the public sector alone. This, I can assure you as noted previously is being addressed.”
Minister Lloyd emphasized that although school is closed, learning and teaching MUST continue.
“End of term exams have to be calculated. National Exams have to re-fashioned. Schools all over the world are scrambling to adjust to this new environment, whether it their admission requirements, assessment modules, etc. This is not a vacation. The school system has already lost precious instructional and learning time due to Hurricane Dorian. We cannot afford a single day further in lost educational time.”
Minister Lloyd said the support and teaching of students of developmental or alternate learning abilities has its challenges but is being addressed.
“Remember, we are in this together and when you succeed, we all have success and the students and the country are the beneficiaries.”
He assured Parliamentarians that the MOE is committed fully to educating all students in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and will do its best to provide them with a quality education without regard to the circumstances.
“We are aware that some students do not have access to the internet or devices and we are exploring ways to reduce or eliminate these access-to-education issues,” he added.