Fresh, exciting GSAT, CSEC study method

Observer, EduFocal partnership will help students

Sunday, December 30, 2012

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Students sitting the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams now have a new and engaging method of studying via an online partnership between Internet start-up company EduFocal Limited and the Jamaica Observer.


Under the partnership, which will be launched on January 10 at the Observer's Beechwood Avenue headquarters in Kingston, the Sunday Observer will carry an EduFocal code — a string of numbers that will give people access to EduFocal's website.


The first access code is published today on the front page of the Sunday Finance pullout.


The service incorporates some of the elements of video games, particularly the concept known as "levelling up", which allows members of the service to "move up" in a particular subject area once they've got enough questions correct.


This method, which is popular in many video games, isn't only for show; students are ranked on a website-wide leaderboard where the top student on the service will receive a $30,000 scholarship at both the CSEC and GSAT levels, adding a fun and competitive element to the service.


Students will also have the opportunity to win random prizes, such as movie tickets, phone credit and backpacks to keep them motivated. They will also have the opportunity to win big prizes like iPads, smartphones and laptops when they refer friends to EduFocal.


The partnership will also see EduFocal expanding its content base to offer not only questions and answers for subjects, but reading content material from the Observer's popular Study Centre publication.


At the EduFocal launch on March 15, at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites described the Web service as a refreshing method of incorporating learning with play.


"Persons in the education industry are tired of the same conventional, ineffective methods of getting information across to students," he said.


Founder and CEO of the company, Gordon Swaby commented on the fact that EduFocal is a service built to appeal to the modern-day child who has so many distractions with which parents have to contend.


He said that one of the best ways to retain a child's attention is to use elements of the things that are distracting the child and incorporate them into learning.


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