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Seventy-five teachers, who were recently trained to integrate Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) into the formal teaching-learning process, graduated on Friday, March 13, in a ceremony held at the Hampton High School in St. Elizabeth.
The teachers, drawn from Hampton and BB Coke High Schools in the parish, have been certified to international standards. They represent the first of four cohorts to be trained in 2009 under the e-Learning Project.
Member of Parliament for South East St. Elizabeth, Franklyn Witter, who was the keynote speaker at the function, lauded the programme, in terms of its potential to enhance the spread of ICT.
“The spread of information and communications technology is changing the way social and economic development occur in most countries. Having new communications and information technology tools have made institutions and the commercial market more productive by enhancing skills development, learning, and improved governance at all levels,” he stated.
He noted that the programme could help enhance learning. “It is generally accepted that e-Learning can add a new dimension to the delivery of subject material and learning. Relevance of material and technology used will be the key to moving forward and getting better results in both internal and external examinations,” he noted.
Headmistress of Hampton High School, Heather Murray, also lauded the programme, noting that it would “significantly improve” the way teachers impart information, and students respond.
“e-Learning is a wonderful project; we are bridging the digital divide. We have started with the teachers and this will filter down to the students. I see this as an exciting time for our students later on,” she stated.
The e-Learning project is an initiative of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Mining and Telecommunications in collaboration with the HEART Trust.
A total of 11,000 teachers and 230,000 students from 186 educational institutions are to benefit from the e-Learning project, which will see teachers being trained, and curriculum incorporating ICT applications being developed in 11 subject areas. The aim is to enhance the teaching/learning process and improve the level of passes in the school-leaving examinations.
Video cameras, document cameras, scanners, televisions, CDs and DVDs, are some of the equipment, which have already been distributed to schools across the island under the project.

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