KINGSTON: The Government of Jamaica has appealed to local Internet providers to ensure that the entire population of the country has access to online services.
“We need Internet access to all the nooks and crannies of Jamaica, to where the more than 1,100 public schools are by 2015, and we really have to challenge everyone involved in this regard,” education minister Rev. Ronald Thwaites said during the official launch of the Caribbean Virtual Academy (CEVA).
A virtual learning platform accessed through the website CaribbeanExams.com, CEVA is geared at providing online tutoring and exam preparation assistance to high school students. Its goal is to help students in Jamaica and across the region achieve greater success at the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) levels.
Rev. Thwaites said the program was a powerful tool to help transform the education system. It is expected to spur significant improvement in student achievement and provide employment opportunities for local teachers.
“At the ministry, we regard CEVA as complementary, not competitive, to classroom-based teaching and learning, as it provides the opportunity for students to learn at their own pace, and not to hamper those who are capable of managing the curriculum at a quicker pace,” he said.
Rev. Thwaites said he would be meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), to assess the progress of the E-learning program and the roll out of the pilot.
Vice President, GoGSAT Ltd., Shallette East, said an estimated 291 teachers were attached to the program, providing online tutoring and assistance in over 18 subject areas, such as Mathematics, English Language and Biology.
She said this was being done through the provision of educational games, thousands of practice questions, topic specific tests, study guides, topic specific notes, animated notes, pre-tests and post-tests in addition to access to test preparation materials.
CaribbeanExams also provides students with access to live tutorials facilitated by live tutors, essay grading, eMentoring, a 24/7 helpdesk, as well as daily homework and research assistance.