JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Education Broadcasting Network (EBN) is slated to commence broadcasts, designed to complement teaching formats administered to students in the classroom, during 2014.
  • This engagement, being facilitated by the Ministry of Education, will see EBN partnering with several public and private entities to produce material tailored to the varying learning patterns of students.
  • Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, said this will enable students to access lessons at home or elsewhere, thereby ensuring they are able to “learn at their own pace.”

The Education Broadcasting Network (EBN) is slated to commence broadcasts, designed to complement teaching formats administered to students in the classroom, during 2014.

This engagement, being facilitated by the Ministry of Education, will see EBN partnering with several public and private entities to produce material tailored to the varying learning patterns of students.

This is expected to entail aspects of the curriculum being delivered using television, tablets, smart-phones, and radio.

Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, said this will enable students to access lessons at home or elsewhere, thereby ensuring they are able to “learn at their own pace.”

Making his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 7, Rev. Thwaites explained that this “virtual education” approach will see EBN programmes incorporating the use of animation/cartoon, mystery, drama, and adventure formats, “in an age appropriate manner.”

“The EBN will deliver programmes for early childhood, primary, and secondary school students. The Ministry of Education is working with the Universal Service Fund (USF) to afford content, appropriate to the new curriculum and the development of the character of the Jamaican youth,” he explained.

The Minister advised that EBN will collaborate with public entities, such as the Creative Production and Training Centre (CPTC) and Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ), and private partners – Jamaica Education Television (JET), and DC Digital – to produce and broadcast digital content.

Rev. Thwaites advised that the Ministry has signed a number of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) in this regard, adding that JET currently has week-long test transmissions between 9:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. These, he informed, are being aired on communication company, FLOW’s channel 117.

Additionally, the Minister said FLOW is also accommodating transmissions by DC Digital on channel 670, as also Love-TV, from Monday to Friday, between the hours of 4:00 and 6:00 p.m., and for 27 hours on the weekend.

“We have (also) received unsolicited requests from Cable TV providers in several parishes to join the Education Broadcasting Network. We expect to partner with all in our surge toward student achievement,” he declared.

The Minister argued that raising the national level of “student achievement” requires that “more students… must have access to high quality engaging and informative lessons.”

Meanwhile, Rev. Thwaites said the Ministry recognizes that there are “other audiences” to serve, such as teachers, principals, and bursars, “who we cannot afford to move to hotels for meetings and training sessions.”

Additionally, he said there are the out-of-school and adult learners who are pursuing the High School Diploma Equivalency (HSDE) islandwide.

“In time, the Education TV Guide will be a household item for all students to find their desired programme,” the Minister said.