Minister of Education and Youth, Hon. Fayval Williams, is encouraging teachers to further integrate the use of technology in the teaching and learning process in the island’s schools.
Mrs. Williams was addressing the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) Annual Education Conference’s opening session, which was held at the Ocean Coral Spring Hotel in Trelawny on Tuesday (April 19).
“I know that technology will help us in education, I don’t see many teachers using their laptops that the JTA fought so hard for you to get,” she said.
Mrs. Williams further informed that close to seven thousand teachers at the primary-school level had redeemed their e-vouchers, which went towards the purchase of laptops to aid in online classes.
The e-vouchers are issued under the ‘Laptop for Teachers’ programme launched in December of last year, developed by e- Learning Jamaica Limited (e-Ljam). The programme targets public school educators.
“I would love to see many, many more of our teachers integrate technology in the learning process; it can help you in helping our students,” Mrs. Williams underscored.
The Minister noted, however, that teachers had been innovative with reaching students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our teachers… [were] very innovative as we all lived through the pandemic. You had to pivot very quickly to learn the virtual space, to create classrooms, to keep [most] of our children engaged with their education. That was innovation; you did something that you had never done before,” Mrs. Williams outlined.
Minister Williams noted that the COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique opportunity to reset and redefine what normal is.
“For the education sector this is a chance… [for] a close look at aspects of the education system that we have taken for granted,” she stated.
The education minister also highlighted that innovation in education encourages students to research, explore and use all the tools to uncover something new.
The three-day conference, which concludes on April 21, is being held under the theme, ‘Sustainable Innovations in Education: Retool. Renew. Reset’.