KINGSTON – Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, says that as the Government increases the use of technology in education, teachers will have to embrace a change in their role in the classroom.
“Technology has changed the power structure…in the classroom…so the students have almost as much knowledge as the teacher…So the role of the teacher has changed. The teacher is no longer what you would call the instructional leader so much; the teacher is now more the facilitator,” he said.
The Minister was speaking at the teacher training graduation ceremony of the e-Learning Project at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston on Thursday (March 10). He said that with students having greater access to knowledge through technology, teachers would need to facilitate understanding, rather than deliver knowledge.
“And that’s what the real role of the teacher is going to evolve to be; not so much writing what it is on the chalkboard…but the higher order thinking that goes with bringing understanding out of knowledge,” he said.
He stated that the teacher now has to ensure that the students who have access to information are provided with a context, and a critical framework in which to gain understanding out of that knowledge.
The Minister congratulated the educators who successfully completed the training course, and encouraged them to use the knowledge they had gained to integrate ICT (Information and Communications Technology) into the school system, and become ambassadors and advocates of the use of information technology.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Project Manager, e-Learning Jamaica Company Limited, the co-ordinating body for the project, Avrill Crawford, said the graduation ceremony was to recognize teachers and lecturers who have successfully completed the Technology Integration course under the project.
She said that the e-Learning Jamaica seeks to improve the learning experience in high schools “and, hopefully, impact the level of passes in the school leaving examinations, in particular the Caribbean Examination Council’s Secondary School Examination.
“However, its success depends on the extent to which the teachers and lecturers have grasped the technology… and in fact are creative in using these technologies in their instructional delivery,” she said.
A total of 322 teachers, lecturers, trainer of trainers, training facilitators, education officers and e-Learning officers and Mico University College facilitators were presented with certificates.
The e-Learning project is targeting more than 11,400 teachers and lecturers in 203 learning institutions, comprising 166 government high schools, six public special schools, 10 teachers colleges, 16 independent high schools and five community colleges, in providing ICT skills training.
The project is a collaborative effort between the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and Ministry of Education.
CONTACT: ALECIA SMITH