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JIS News

The National Library of Jamaica (NLJ) is hosting virtual history workshops for secondary-school students.

Students preparing for their School-Based Assessments (SBAs) as part of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) can benefit from these workshops.

Individuals or schools wishing to attend or have customised sessions for students can contact the NLJ via email at nljresearch@nlj.gov.jm.

National Librarian of the NLJ, Beverley Lashley, told JIS News that the initiative is in response to the physical distancing restrictions due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Currently, the library is closed to the public in keeping with the Government’s strategy to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We want to bring the library to the students, who are unable to physically visit the facility to do their research and SBAs,” Miss Lashley noted.

The first workshop was held on Tuesday (July 21) with fourth-form history students of Campion College.

A total of 25 students and three teachers participated in the virtual session, which was coordinated by Manager of Research and Information, NLJ, Chantal Cousins, along with Caribbean History Teacher at Campion College, Veronica Taylor-Smellie.

Miss Lashley told JIS News that the session, which focused on Caribbean history, also included presentations on how to use the resources of the National Library, evaluation of resources, and citing of sources that are used.

“We scanned what they needed and made it available to them for a limited period of time,” she said, noting that the resources required by the students are digitised and placed on a portal, which could only be accessed with a password.

Miss Lashley said she is “extremely pleased” with the outcome of the first workshop.

“It was a pilot test run and it went so well that we can extend it to the entire Jamaica immediately,” she noted.

Head of the Humanities Department of Campion College, Arlene Hay, told JIS News that the workshop “was a timely and welcome initiative.”

She noted that it was happening at a time “when educators are seeking alternative methods to prepare students for their SBAs”.

“The engaging presentations covered all aspects of collecting data from primary and secondary sources, and the students participated actively in the discussion throughout,” she said.

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