Career & Education

Digital learning platform to help students displaced by Hurricane Dorian

Monday, November 25, 2019

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Approximately 1,000 students in The Bahamas who were displaced by the passage of Hurricane Dorian in September will now receive unparalleled academic support with the introduction of a One-on-One digital learning platform.

The e-learning programme, which was launched in Nassau on November 21, comprises unlimited access to virtual textbooks, the establishment of digital schools which will be live streamed and accessible for future reference, as well as the execution of weekend classes for students from 34 selected schools.

The initiative is made possible through a partnership between BTC Communications, Cable and Wireless Foundation, One-on-One, the Ministry of Education Bahamas, the Bahamas Union of Teachers, and Sandals Foundation. It is aimed at helping junior high and high school students stay on track as they prepare for their mandatory school exit exams.

Five hundred tablets were purchased by Sandals Foundation to aid displaced exam-aged students and train some 50 teachers who have lost thousands of lesson plans, content and other teaching aids. Additionally, teachers will be given full access to over 200 curricula-based content along with unlimited access to monitor and guide students locally.

“These students have experienced unimaginable challenges and changes,” a news release quotes Sandals Foundation Executive Director Heidi Clarke. “It was important for us at the foundation to do what we could to ensure their academic progress was not derailed. These tablets will provide the ideal support that teachers and students need to keep apace and stay on track with their counterparts.”

Education, Clarke said, “is the most important tool through which students — young and old — can emerge from trying circumstances and create a strong future. These are the investments that drive the work of the Sandals Foundation as we help Caribbean nationals achieve their best.”

Ricardo Allen, chief executive officer at One-on-One Educational Services Limited, and whose team will be leading the on-the-ground activities, said he is extremely excited about the prospects of the programme.

“In response to the unspeakable disaster, and in collaboration with BTC and our other stakeholders, we have put together a comprehensive series of activities which will no doubt positively impact students and their scholastic performance for this academic year,” Allen said.

The vision, he added, “is to continue our work with the Ministry of Education, Sandals Foundation and the Cable & Wireless Foundation, in whatever way we can, to empower students, parents and teachers through technology”.
The One-on-One learning platform will be available to Bahamas educators and students for a period of three months.

Since March 2018, the online learning platform has aided over 20,000 Caribbean students in 13 countries who would have lost at least a month away from school.

Over 500 on-demand lectures from teachers, virtual science labs, analytics and insight into students' progress, practice test and solutions and a digital encyclopedia have been delivered to students resulting in a 40 per cent performance increase in their mandatory high school exit exams.


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