EDUCATION Minister Jeff Lloyd.
By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
EDUCATION Minister Jeffrey Lloyd says the ministry’s Learning Management System (LMS) is now fully operational after thousands of public school students experienced problems trying to log on this week.
At a press conference yesterday, Ricardo Allen, CEO of One-on-One, one of the companies responsible for hosting the LMS, admitted they have challenges including many people logging into the system causing it to go down.
The LMS is being used for virtual instruction primarily on the islands of New Providence, Abaco and Eleuthera.
Education officials expressed confidence in the system after issues started to occur on Tuesday – the first day of instructional learning. Director of Education Marcellus Taylor said One-on-One and the other company responsible, Amazon Web Services, came up with a solution to go back to the LMS, which, he said, ran all of Wednesday with no challenges – indicating just under 21,000 people were able to go on and engage in the system that day.
However, on Wednesday, Bahamas Union of Teachers officials said the system encountered issues and many teachers were using alternative methods for instruction.
Yesterday, Mr Lloyd said the challenges faced on Tuesday were “behind us”.
He said: “We tested and retested to determine its capability of absorbing the demand that was placed upon it in the initial stages of Tuesday morning. It has not only met those demands, but it has succeeded it.
“Yes, we have a situation that is new to us — (a) Learning Management System and Education Management Information System, never ever before implemented in our country. Naturally, there will be from time to time certain inconveniences and possible disruption, but as we have demonstrated through the collaboration of our vendors and our partners we will meet those challenges and overcome them successfully to the benefit of our number one clients — our parents and our students.”
Despite Tuesday’s debacle, Mr Lloyd highlighted that somewhere around 13,000 people were successfully able to access the system.
Mr Allen said the system was ready, but the number of people who came on the LMS caused a “maintenance defense mechanism”.
“Within a three minute period, thousands of students came on to the system causing there to be a maintenance defense mechanism. System was temporarily down. We managed to get back up and yesterday we had a day where over 30 percent…. students came to the platform. No issue in terms of platform sustainability and so on.”
He added: “There’s no issues as far as the ability to sustain the pressures and the load that may come in fact I’m proud to share with that currently, based on the testing that we’ve done, we can accommodate in excess of 60,000 students based on the current setup and configuration.”
Meanwhile, Mr Taylor emphasized some schools are using other types of software to deliver the instructional programme - software not running through the LMS. In fact, some are still running off these programmes thus Wednesday’s number did not include those individuals. He explained why the system had to be stopped at first.
“Indeed because of the challenges that were experienced with people getting on or people being in the system and getting bumped out and so forth the decision was made to stop the programme to do a proper maintenance exercise so that when the system was up and running again the challenges people were having in terms of getting on and staying on would be minimised or eliminated,” Mr Taylor said.
Teacher-student assigning on the system was one kink officials said still needs to be ironed out. More information from schools Mr Taylor explained was needed to resolve this problem.
“The need for students to be assigned to the correct classes and teachers to be assigned to the correct classes and some of that is we require more detailed information from schools so that we can properly place student X in class Y with teacher Z….we hope to have that matter resolved in the next week or so,” he said.