Careers & Education

Online high school comes to the Caribbean

BY DENISE DENNIS Career & Education staff reporter dennisd@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, November 11, 2012    

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YOUTH and adults alike from across the Caribbean will soon have the opportunity to complete high school without having to enrol in the traditional school system.

This is being made possible through the CaribbeanExams Virtual Academy (CEVA), an online academic portal operated under the Kingston-based company CaribbeanExams and GoGsat Ltd and which came on stream this September.

CaribbeanExams.com is the region's first test preparation website, providing resources designed to enhance academic outcomes among students from across the Caribbean in all the important transitional examinations. GoGsat provides online Grade Six Achievement Test preparation for students of grades one through six.

CEVA started this academic year by piloting full mathematics and English courses. Full courses for all other subject areas are to be offered next year.

"A number of students fail their CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) examinations and CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination) because they do not understand the concepts. In this situation, test preparation alone will not assist them. Therefore, the full course aspect was started to assist these students," said Shalette East, vice-president of operations and marketing with CaribbeanExams and GoGSAT Ltd.

"The main objective of CEVA is to allow students to successfully complete the entire CSEC and CAPE syllabus using the programme. When students register for CEVA, they get access to full course and test preparation material," she added.

These courses facilitate learning wherever an Internet connection can be found. Students have access to a wide array of textbooks, hand-outs, videos, educational games, thousands of practice questions, and topic specific tests.

They also have access to study guides, topic-specific notes, animated notes, as well as pre- and post-tests. In addition to access to test preparation material, CEVA students participate in online class discussions and live tutorials facilitated by Caribbean tutors.

East noted that 327 students, some of them as young as 13 years old, from 21 countries, are currently registered with CEVA. And this, she said, is as it should be since the online school is for anyone, regardless of their age, who needs to complete their high school education by sitting CSEC and CAPE subjects.

"After registering and paying their tuition, students are assigned to a class and tutor," East said of the school, which charges US$10 per subject per month.

All aspects of the school is virtual and online and can be accessed on the CaribbeanExams.com website.

East believes CEVA — which currently features test preparation material and resources for 13 CSEC and seven CAPE courses — will be a sufficient alternative to a traditional high school as soon as all the full courses are on the portal.

CEVA also offers courses for the Bahamas Junior Certificate and the Bahamas General Certificate for Secondary Education.

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