A total of 190,352 students and 15,466 teachers have already signed on and are using the Government’s online learning management system.
Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams, made the disclosure while addressing the sitting of the House of Representatives on September 29.
She said that the number of students represents 32 per cent across early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.
“We continue to work with the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) to bring on board the early-childhood practitioners,” she added.
Minister Williams informed that students and teachers are being provided with email addresses, which they will use to sign on to the online classroom. She said that they will create their personal password for security reasons.
The learning management system is a cloud-based platform managed by Google as part of their educational product offerings.
It is one of three options being employed by the Ministry to facilitate distance learning when classes resume on October 5.
Lessons will also be delivered via television, radio and cable, and through the delivery of printed materials to students in remote locations.
Mrs. Williams told the House that approximately 20,000 teachers have already been trained on the learning management system to create their virtual classrooms.
She said that students and teachers do not need to have a data plan to access the learning system.
System administrators have also been trained to support the students in navigating the virtual space.
“We are also training our special needs teachers and those in the private schools,” Mrs. Williams added.
As it relates to the delivery of printed materials, the Education Minister explained that this provision is for students who live in deep rural areas and do not have Internet access.
She said that special worksheets and practice books will be printed and distributed to these students through their schools. They will receive the printed lessons two weeks in advance.
“The completed worksheets will be picked up at established points so the teachers can mark the completed work and be in touch with the students and parents via telephone, WhatsApp or text messaging,” she noted.
The Education Minister told the House that the Ministry will provide learning kits for students to utilise along with their textbooks and worksheets at home.
She said that textbooks and worksheets will be available through the schools for pickup during the first week of remote learning, noting that every student will have the government-issued textbooks and worksheets where applicable.
For the classes being delivered through television, cable and radio, the Ministry will publish a schedule on its website and all its social media platforms, and in the newspapers.
The schedule will also be sent via email to principals, teachers and students, so that they will know when their classes will be aired.