The Ministry of Education will pilot, for the first time, Live and on Demand Content (educational) in 50 remote schools via Internet Protocol Television (IP TV) and 10 schools via free to air television, by January 2013.
This was disclosed by Minister of Education, Rev. The Hon. Ronald Thwaites, at the sitting of the House of Representatives on December 11.
"This has the prospects of considerably improving the educational outcomes, not supplanting but supplementing teachers in each of these schools,” the Minister explained.
Rev. Thwaites added that the policy and mechanisms as well as the funding to extend this initiative to over 600 primary schools by 2015 are in place.
According to the Ministry Paper tabled by Rev Thwaites, the initiative is in keeping with the Ministry’s overall plan to improve the educational outcome of students, through the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT).
Funding for one year is being provided by the Jamaica Education Television (JET) at no cost to the Government of Jamaica.
The initiative, for which a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by the Ministry and JET, was formally launched during a ceremony at the Caenwood Centre in St. Andrew, on Friday (November 23).
The IPTV pilot will commence with one channel dedicated to the delivery of Mathematics and English Language. It will facilitate live and on-demand content to the institutions, which will be outfitted with the requisite equipment to facilitate access by teachers and students.
Development of the material to be delivered will be undertaken by the Ministry’s Core Curriculum Unit, with the Programme Monitoring and Evaluation Unit monitoring activities in the schools.
JET will provide the requisite equipment within the schools, while Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited, through its subsidiary, FLOW, will provide the technology platform, through Internet and other applicable services, to facilitate transmission.