With plans in place to extend the e-Learning Project to primary schools, the Education Minister, Rev. Hon. Ronald Thwaites, is encouraging teachers to make full use of the facility to improve educational outcomes at the primary level.
He was addressing Wednesday’s (April 11) opening of the St Joseph’s Teachers’ College Symposium 2012, at the college campus in Kingston.
The e-Learning Project, which is benefiting students at the secondary level, is to be extended to the island’s 700 primary schools as soon as a review of the programme, now underway, is completed.
Minister Thwaites said expectations are that the process will be completed during the course of the current academic year.
He said the technological support provided to schools under the initiative could be used to improve teaching methodologies, especially in numeracy, where urgent support is needed.
Earlier this year, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, in his address at the first meeting of the Board of Directors of the e-Learning Jamaica Company Limited, charged the members to move speedily to expand the programme in primary schools and early childhood education centres as soon as the review is completed.
At that time, the Technology Minister observed that with more than 200 high schools and more than 700 primary schools, the programme is a "massive exercise that is arguably the single-most impacting education project."
Established in 2005, the e-Learning Jamaica Company Limited is a limited liability company managed by a board of directors appointed by the Minister with responsibility for telecommunications.
The initial e-Learning Project was developed as a joint initiative with the Ministry of Education and utilises Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to assist in the enhancement of teaching and learning in high schools.
The project is funded by the Universal Access Fund Company Limited (UAFCL), which is also responsible for providing broadband internet access to the schools.
By Allan Brooks, JIS Senior Reporter