Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd.
By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
ABOUT 45,000 students have now registered for the Ministry for Education’s virtual learning programme, according to Education Minister Jeff Lloyd. Last month, it was revealed around 40,000 students had enrolled.
Noting officials are pleased that more students are registering with the learning programme, Mr Lloyd said his ministry was also excited to finally launch the live educational broadcasts on cable for primary school students.
“We’re very, very excited about that so that means all of our students are able to access live instructions every single day and now we have about 45,000 students registered on the virtual school — big time, wonderful day.”
The virtual learning programme was established to allow students to continue their studies at home after the government announced the closure of schools due to COVID-19 pandemic.
However, recognising that many students in the country do not have access to the internet, the Ministry of Education launched live educational broadcasts on cable tv, allowing students to continue their studies at home. To further assist vulnerable students in the community, the government also gave out meal vouchers.
Speaking in the House of Assembly in March, Mr Lloyd revealed that there were some 4,200 students who depended on schools for their meals.
“As a consequence of school closure, those students are at significant risk,” he said. “Therefore…the Ministry of Education will provide meal vouchers for students and invite parents to call and come to the school to collect such vouchers for their children.”
Last week, the South Beach MP said tablets will be issued to students on the ministry’s meal programme so they can have access to the virtual learning platform.
Those tablets, he told reporters on Tuesday, are expected to be distributed next week.
“Tablets are going to be in town and they’re going to be distributed the middle to the end of next week,” he noted. “We already have in house a half of the tablets, but we want to make sure that we have them all and that ALIV loads them as they ought to with the hotspot you all know with that means as well as the app for the access to the virtual school.”
It is still not clear when national examinations such as BJC and BGCSE will be held in the country.
However, during his national address on Sunday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis assured that those exams will occur “whenever the opportunities arises to conduct them safely.”