Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
As the Ministry of Education continues their efforts to promote education in the most innovative and creative ways, students, parents and teachers across the Territory will see the launch of a new online educational tutoring platform, to assist students with their studies in various subject areas.
Minister of Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn, while speaking during the sitting of the House of Assembly, today, April 18, shared that the initiative is a part of his Ministry’s mandate to incorporate modern technological forms of teaching and learning in the classroom.
The 24 hour online programme, which will be launched during the week of April 24th, will provide learning support for students through an eLearning and online tutorial and test preparation platform.
Following the launch, a total of 4100 users, made up of students and teachers of public and private schools, will be given access to the portal, which is being facilitated through Digicel BVI Limited.
Parents of the users will be required to pay $5 per month (which equates to 17 cents per day) or $60 a year, for full use of this system. The Ministry of Education will bear the remaining cost of $2.50 or $30 per year for every student registered.
Students in both primary and secondary schools, from grades 4 through to 12, and their respective teachers, as well as independent students in alternative secondary school programmes in the Territory, were identified as the key target of the online portal.
While logged into the eLearning and online test preparation system, students will be provided with assistance and testing resources for core subjects such as Math, English, Social Studies and Science at the primary level, with Financial Services, Tourism, Virgin Islands Studies and Civics being added to the core subjects at the secondary level.
Hon. Walwyn said, “The aim is to increase student achievement by augmenting the teaching and learning process in the classroom, to align students learning in all subjects regardless of the school, and to provide an academic pathway for late achievers and persons seeking a high school diploma that are outside of the formal education system, inclusive of those that are incarcerated.”
He added, “Parents can monitor and work with their children and become involved in the education of their child as well as remain in constant communication with the teacher. We anticipate that this initiative will augment what is being taught in the classroom and positively affect academic performance.”
The platform is being facilitated through the Caribbean based GoGSat Limited, and can be accessed at www.Learninghub.online.
In noting the importance of such a portal, the Minister explained, “It will help them to stay on track with what is being taught in the classroom. It has a tutorial component for those who need extra lessons on selected topics; for advanced students the opportunity to move ahead in covering the syllabus and content even before it is done in class; and for those on a different academic pathway, objectives and content systematically outlined are available on the learning hub that can be used to prepare them to successfully complete secondary certification on their own, if they have the ability to do so.”
Apart from providing mock exams and topic specific tests to its users, the platform also has the capability of generating notes, study guides, handouts and work sheets on specific topic areas by grade level.
The platform also gives teachers the opportunity to set up chat rooms for their classes, where concepts can be introduced or reinforced. The system can also grade essays, offer live tutorials, provide homework help, answer questions for students in real time and generate educational games also.
“Further to all the benefits already identified for this initiative, as the programme develops we will be able to facilitate independent studies in preparation for high school diplomas, and regional examinations such as CSEC and CAPE independently,” Hon. Myron explained.
He added, “The portal will cater to individuals doing private studies outside the confines of a classroom setting as all objectives and study notes by subject will be available. The Prison Education Programme can be augmented by this as well as students enrolled in the Alternative Secondary Education Programme. Ultimately, in collaboration with the Examinations Unit, individuals seeking secondary school qualifications can study independently using the Learning Hub services and then complete exams in the required subject areas to earn the necessary credentials.”