The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, will be providing creative videos to keep students engaged during the online learning process.
Speaking at a virtual meeting of the Rotary Club of Kingston, held today (September 17), Education Officer, Core Curriculum, in the Ministry, Cecille Young, said this is a matter of concern for the Ministry.
“We are concerned about student attention span…and we are trying to address this in various ways, in terms of developing creative videos for the students and especially students at the early childhood level,” she said.
“I know that as we speak, the media services unit is working and developing video clips to engage students,” Ms. Young added.
She further noted that teachers in the early childhood sector “would be creating their schedules, so that the children will have psychosocial breaks in which they will do their movements and so on.”
“All that is taken into consideration in preparing for going back out to school,” Ms. Young noted.
Regarding the preparation of teachers, the Education Officer said since schools were closed on March 13, just days after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Jamaica, the Ministry has been engaging the teachers in various training.
She informed that training for the teachers has been done in partnership with various stakeholders, such as the Jamaica Teaching Council, National College for Educational Leadership (NCEL) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
“We have training being done even now by the University of the West Indies Open Campus. We have been trying everything, we have been leaving no stone unturned in getting our teachers upskilled,” Ms. Young said.
She also informed that the Ministry has been putting together learning kits for students in need.
“The Ministry has also developed Apps…and are downloading the Apps and materials on the tablets for Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) students. So, those students who need it the most, they are getting Apps, and tablets and they don’t need internet to access it. We also have programmes being developed for radio,” Ms. Young informed.
With the recent spike in cases of the virus, the opening of the 2020/21 academic year, initially scheduled for September 7, has been pushed back to October 5, with a blended approach to learning to be employed.
This involves limited face-to-face engagement, online and offline computer-aided learning, televised learning and the provision of printed learning kits for students without Internet access, the use of the Ministry’s content app and other learning management systems.